For the past six months, the UK government is receiving an exceedingly high number of visa applications for tier 2 visas. Immigration critics feel that visa shortage and the yearly limit is going to hamper United Kingdom’s tech industry. Campaign for Science and Engineering recently obtained rejection figures from the UK Home Office. The agency found that more than 1,600 IT workers and engineers were rejected visas even though companies in Great Britain recruited them. Dr. Sarah Main, executive director of Campaign for Science and Engineering, said those job areas where there is an evident shortage should be exempt from the yearly cap.
She said that the government repeats its mantra that the UK should be open to the best and brightest, and yet reject highly qualified people from entering the country. Tier 2 visa limit was introduced by Theresa May in 2011 when she was the home secretary. She introduced a monthly limit of 1,000 to 2,000 visas and yearly limit of 20,700 visas. The limit is only applicable to skilled workers from outside of the European Union. Between implementation of the policy and December 2017, the limit exceeded only once in June 2015 when UK Home Office rejected 66 tier 2 visa applications.
Half of the applications
Report of December, January, and February show that 50 percent of applications were rejected. The exact cause for the sudden increase is unknown, but experts feel that it is either because many EU citizens are leaving jobs or they aren’t applying for new ones, leaving more jobs to be filled by non – EU citizens. Not only techies but also medical professionals are being affected because of the shortage. Matthew Fell, UK policy director, CBI, said that British firms are suffering because of the visa shortage and will break the UK economy.