Limitations of the Tier 2 system
There is currently an annual cap of 20,700 Tier 2 General visas. Until recently there had only been a
handful of times that the monthly allocation had been hit. However allocations under the cap have
been reached every month since December 2017. The income based method used to decide which
applicants succeed meant that in April no one earning under £50,000 a year were offered a visa.
The cap has resulted in more than 6,000 overseas workers with job offers in the United Kingdom
being refused entry, including more than 1,500 doctors since December!
There had always been a great deal of pressure on Amber Rudd and Theresa May in relation to the
issue with Tier 2 visas particularly pressure on them to relax visa rules for NHS employees however
Theresa May continually refused to do so. It was not until last week that Sajid Javid recognised the
pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors and urged for the skilled worker visa route to be
reviewed with immediate changes to bring NHS doctors & nurses out of the monthly allocation of the annual cap.
Doctors and Nurses to be taken out of Tier 2 visa cap
On Friday 15 June 2018 the Home Office confirmed that Doctors and nurses will be excluded from the cap on skilled worker visas.
This means that there will be no restriction on the number of Doctors and nurses who can be
employed through the Tier 2 visa route. Furthermore, this also allows more international Doctors and
nurses to be recruited to provide outstanding patient care when required.
As well as allowing more Doctors and nurses to be recruited by the NHS, it will also free up hundreds
of additional places per month within the cap for other highly skilled workers, such as engineers, IT
professionals, teachers and dentists. The Home Office said around 40% of Tier 2 visas were granted
to the NHS staff. It will be interesting to see if this is a permanent measure and if it signals further
positive changes from the new Home secretary.
If you are looking to apply for a Tier 2 Visa or have any other immigration matter, please do not
hesitate to contact any member of the Immigration Team at Drummond Miller, we are happy to help.