The COVID-19 pandemic and isolation which has ensued, has driven a dramatic rise in the number of reports of domestic violence in the UK. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned that displaced women and girls face a greater risk of violence during the Coronavirus crisis, including being confined with abusers or forced into “survival sex” with limited access to support services.
As employers grapple with the new furlough leave guidance from Government and what it means for their business and workforce, we are seeing numerous questions regarding employees with a visa, particularly Tier 2 sponsored workers.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began in December last year, we have seen the world focus on little else. This is a pandemic in which technology will play a key role in bringing a resolution and it’s time to think about how we, as immigration specialists and legal partners of Tech Nation, can help bring that essential tech talent to the UK.
It was confirmed in this week’s Budget that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will be increasing from £400 to £624 per year of the visa. The IHS is a visa fee applicable to overseas nationals for the NHS. The measure also increases the discounted rate for students, their dependants and those applying for Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visas from £300 to £470 per year of the visa. In a new tweak to the previous arrangements, the surcharge will be set at the lower £470 rate for all children under the age of 18.
The writing had already been on the wall. Priti Patel had warned that there would be no “carve outs” for specific sectors which would experience a shock when free movement ended. Those comments were aimed at various industry groups which had asked for the temporary work visas which had been mooted in the 2018 Immigration White Paper to be part of any new policy. But repeatedly, the mood music coming from No. 10 and Ms Patel had been clear – don’t lobby us until you have raised wages and provided training and career development opportunities that will attract more local workers.
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