The UK has seen a dramatic fall in net-migration, driven equally by the increased number of EU citizens leaving the country after the Brexit referendum, and the decreased number of international immigrants moving to the UK.
At the same time unemployment in the UK is down to a 42-year low of 4.3%, making it difficult to find workers in most regions in the UK.
Businesses across Britain are now short of employees across many sectors, ranging from minimum wage workers to those in leadership positions. To try lure new hires, employers are having to increase wages.
According to Sable International emigration consultant, Philip Gamble, not only are there a wide range of positions open in the UK, but wages and salaries are on the up and it looks as if this is going to continue for the foreseeable future.
“If you’re a skilled individual interested in moving to the UK this should be music to your ears,” he said.
According to Gamble, the most popular visa that allows you to work and live in the UK is the Tier 2 (General) visa, often referred to as a UK work permit.
“This visa allows you to live and work in the UK for a maximum of five years and 14 days. To get one you’ll first need a job offer for a skilled position in the UK,” he said.
“The UK Shortage Occupation List details the jobs for which there is a shortage of workers in the UK.
“If your occupation is on the list, it will be far easier for you to find a job in the UK and to get a UK work permit.”
You can find the full Shortage Occupation list here, but Gamble set out some of the more popular occupations on the list:
- IT and communications professionals
- Programmers and software development professionals
- Health professionals
- High school teachers
- Social workers
- Dancers and choreographers
- Graphic designers
The first step is to apply for a job in the UK, Gamble said.
“The company you are applying to will need to be a registered organisation, which means they are licensed to sponsor migrants for Tier 2 (General) visas. If you’re unsure of where to begin looking for a position, a quick search of relevant UK career sites will bring up a number of vacancies.
“Once you have gone through the job application process and have received a formal job offer, you can start the visa application process. Your employer will issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) once you have been offered the position. You will use your unique COS number when applying for your Tier 2 (General) visa.”
Points-based visa system
The Tier 2 (General) visa works on a points-based system, and you will need to obtain 70 points to be eligible.
This is a breakdown of the required points:
- 30 points for having a valid job offer from a registered Tier 2 sponsor (Certificate of Sponsorship).
- 20 points for an offer of a minimum salary of £30,000 (depending on your occupation).
- 10 points for having at least £945 available to you.
- 10 points for meeting the English language requirement.
“If you have 70 points, you meet all the requirements and your application is done in the correct way, you should receive your visa within eight weeks of your application,” said Gamble.