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Brexit Reducing Skilled Migration to the UK

Many will have voted in favour of Brexit due to concerns about low-skilled migration. The actual impact has been somewhat different.

Companies who require highly-skilled migrants from outside the UK submit a request for a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship every month. This is required to sponsor someone under Tier 2 General, this being the visa category for sponsored skilled workers.

The Home Office have a limit of 1,500 Certificates to be allocated each month, to which are added previously allocated Certificates that were not used, giving a total available each month of around 1,900 Certificates of Sponsorship.

Since Brexit the NHS has been suffering from a lack of applicants for highly-skilled jobs from EU countries. In December 2017 the NHS appear to have begun recruiting more heavily from outside the EU and have been applying for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship.

As the roles are very often within Skills Shortage Occupations they are allocated ahead of other Certificate requests. As a consequence, UK Companies have suddenly found themselves unable to obtain Certificates for roles with salaries less than £50,000 per annum, despite the minimum being £30,000 for sponsorship or the minimum salary expected for the role, whichever is higher.

Brexit has, therefore, resulted in less highly-skilled migrants coming from EU countries and, as a consequence of the NHS using the Tier 2 General visa category for non-EU citizens, stopped UK Companies from hiring people with skills that they need for their businesses to thrive.

With less highly-skilled migrants coming from EU countries, perhaps it is time for the Home Office to increase the number of Certificates available for highly-skilled migrants from non-EU countries.