REC response to Student Visa changes

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has said that it is good news that the Government has recognised the need to retain graduate talent through the switching provision. Under new rules the Post Study Worker subcategory of Tier 1 will end in April 2012 however Non EEA students who graduate with a recognised degree will be able to switch to Tier 2 General without a resident labour market test where they have secured a job of at least £20,000 per annum.

Gillian Econopouly of the REC said that ‘While all aspects of the immigration system are being examined in light of the Government’s policy to reduce immigration, it is good news that the Government has recognised the need to retain graduate talent through the ‘switching’ provision. Talented graduates are essential to UK competitiveness and employers must be able to take them on to help their companies grow. This is of course something that could be reviewed once we have built a better pipeline of UK graduates in key shortage areas. It is understandable that the Government is concerned about abuse of the student visa system, but the focus should be to crack down on rogue establishments that bring students in for meaningless courses. Legitimate education providers and employers alike would welcome a greater effort to eradicate such institutions, while the overall cap may damage the ability of credible organisations to attract foreign students.’

However critics of the change argue that it is difficult for fresh graduates to secure suitable employment with a Tier 2 licensed sponsor immediately and many employers will not wish to employ an individual on a Tier2 general visa due to endless red tape. Recently Sir James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, told BBC radio 4 that “I am extremely concerned because already England is under-producing the numbers of engineers it needs by 50 per cent. There are 37,000 vacancies a year and about 20,000 graduates. So already it is very, very difficult to find engineers. I think it is sheer madness to be effectively chucking out graduates who we desperately need. I am afraid what it will end up doing is driving firms like us abroad because we simply can’t get people to do our research and development.” Many would argue that Tier 1 Post Study Worker be retained but be limited to Science & Engineering Graduates as under the old Science & Engineering Graduate Scheme (SEGS).

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.