Last week’s announcement regarding the Autumn Budget revealed both positive and negative changes to Immigration Law in the U.K.

The good news surrounds the governments initiative to attract talented and skilled workers to the U. K, through the liberalising of Immigration rules, particularly Tier 1. This will apply predominantly to scientists, researchers and international students who want to work and settle in the U.K.

This will be achieved by:

  • changing the immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to apply for settlement after three years;
  • making it quicker for highly-skilled students to apply to work in the UK after finishing their degrees;
  • reducing red tape in hiring international researchers and members of established research teams, by relaxing:
    • the resident labour market test
    • allowing the UK’s research councils and other select organisations to sponsor researchers.

 

It states the following in the Autumn Budget:

‘4.19 International talent – To support its ambitions on innovation and R&D, the government is encouraging the best and the brightest international scientific and research talent to work in the UK. The government will: change immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to apply for settlement 47 after three years; make it quicker for highly-skilled students to apply to work in the UK after finishing their degrees; and reduce red tape in hiring international researchers and members of established research teams, by relaxing the labour market test and allowing the UK’s research councils and other select organisations to sponsor researchers. This is alongside the expansion of the exceptional talent route, benefiting current and future leaders in the digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors.’

However, the bad news surrounds large funding cuts to the Home Office which will likely lead to the raising of application fees and further profit-making initiatives to compensate. The day-to-day spending of The Home Office will be reduced from £10.6 billion to £10.7 billion and overall justice spending is likely to fall by 40%. The raising of application fees will directly impact the number of applications made and the cost of this will fall on the individual.

Raising of fees combined with harsh cultural attitudes towards Immigration will likely mean a fall in overall net migration. The Office for National Statistics puts annual net migration 20,000 lower in its latest population projections, which will lead to a reduction of GDP by 0.2% by 2022.