Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications are under increasing pressure. The UK government has signalled its intention to keep the annual limit on tier 2 visas at 20,700 and has told the Migration Advisory Committee to look at ways to significantly reducing numbers of economic migrants to the UK.
These moves come at a time when pressure on the existing quota is higher than it has ever been. June 2015 saw the monthly quota reached for the first time since the limit was established in 2011. The monthly quota of 1,650 was reached just 11 days into the month.
Needless to say, this backdrop means that anyone considering a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Application needs to be entirely accurate with the administration of the application process. At a time when the government is demanding a tightening up of all aspects of immigration, there is simply no room for error.
The highly regarded Oxford Migration Observatory is amongst those to have voiced their concerns over the effects of the government’s refusal to consider increasing the quota. They have pointed out that the move threatens to leave many posts in UK organisations unfilled, with serious consequences – including in the public sector.
The difficulties experienced by Tier 2 applicants and Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications are reflective of a changing approach in the UK towards migration generally. The internationally respected Migrant Integration Policy Index, released findings on June 30th which showed the UK becoming a less welcoming place for migrants and those seeking to employ migrant labour. The June index showed the UK falling out of the top ten for the first time – the latest step in a progression which has seen the country slip from 10th to 15th place in its listing over the past five years.
The government insists that its moves are aimed at encouraging the training of UK citizens. Allied to higher thresholds for language, earnings levels, good character tests and so on, the insistence on maintaining existing limits suggests any potential Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications need careful consideration.