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10 Jun 2014


Sponsor licences

Cut in immigration could have detrimental impact on business warns Welsh solicitor

Following the announcement that the government is continuing with its plan to cut net immigration, a legal specialist has warned that this could have a negative impact on UK businesses that operate in global markets.

South Wales-based HardingEvans has the only specialist corporate immigration team in Wales and is concerned that changes to entry criteria will make it harder for skilled workers to come to the UK.

Up to 5 April 2014, the Government is only permitting a maximum of 20,700 skilled workers to come into the UK under the Tier 2 General category, with an annual salary below £152,100. There is no limit, however, on the number of workers that can come into the UK to do jobs on an annual salary of £152,100 or above.

More flexibility is permitted within the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer category but new entrants under the ICT category will be unable to make applications for indefinite leave to remain following expiry of their work visas. Immigration under the Tier 2 category is only permitted where the employer has a sponsorship licence and available sponsorship certificates to allocate.

Separately, the Government has tightened the marriage rules making it harder for spouses/partners of UK citizens to work and reside in the UK. There are now minimum financial requirements that must be met.

Daniel Wilde, Partner, Head of Employment at HardingEvans, said: “No area of law is more heavily politicised than issues relating to immigration.

“These changes mean that it is increasingly necessary to seek out expert legal advice to ensure businesses retain their highly trusted sponsor status and that the formalities required in terms of the issue of certificates of sponsorship and the obtaining of visas are complied with.”

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