UK Fee Increase In Non-European Workers Visa

It is widely expected that UK businesses employing non-European workers, such as Indians, will incur a £1000 annual surcharge fee for each employee. The UK’s Committee on Migration Advisory (MAC) cited Indian IT sector in its newest recommendations in calling for review of country’s intra firm transfer (ICT) path under Tier 2 visa regime.

It issued a statement, saying that “Immigration is not helping to boost incentive to employers to teach and up skill UK workforce. Ready access to pool of skilled IT experts in India is an example of this.” It continued, reporting on its findings, saying “we did not observe any substantive proof of very old reciprocal arrangements whereby UK staffs are given chance to grow skills, training and experience from working in India.”

The annual surcharge would apply for each year the employee has a work visa with a company and the migration committee feels that the new cost of employing workers abroad will make it more attractive for employers investing in training employees from the UK or looking elsewhere.

This is alongside other measures that are potentially being introduced to reduce the number of migrants entering under Tier 2 system by 20% every year, with other policy ideas such as raising the minimum salary requirement for those entering Britain from £20,800 to £35,000.

Under the Tier 2 system, skilled Indian workers were allocated the biggest number of visas in the financial year ending September 2015, and Indian IT professionals account for 90 % of visas issued under the ICT path.

Commenting on this, the committee said that “The proof point out that multinational firms with presence in India has developed a competitive advantage in delivering IT projects in the UK. They has developed a delivery model, whereby important elements of projects are delivered offshore in India, taking advantage of the fact that Indian salaries are lower than in the UK for equivalent workers.”

It is alleged that the latest rules would decrease non-skilled migrants who are looking to settle down in the UK from approximately 60,000 to 20,000 yearly, but many has disagreed with the latest steps, including British citizens, mentioning that it is biased against lower income earners.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have voiced their own concerns, saying the latest visa restrictions “had the potential to adversely effect both the commercial interests of both countries’ businesses and investors, and consequently the economic interest of both Australia and UK.”

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