UCL News


UCL submission to UK Border Agency consultation: give your views

7 July 2011

The government is currently consulting on proposed changes to employment-related settlement, tier 5 and overseas domestic workers as part of their 'Securing Our Border Controlling Migration' agenda.

UK Border Agency The proposals are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration.

The consultation is open until 9 September 2011. Alongside joint sector responses, UCL will be making its own submission. We would value the input of any staff for whom the proposals are relevant. This may be in a personal capacity, as someone who is working here on a limited visa, or as a manager with recruitment and retention concerns.

Please submit any comments you want to make on any of the proposals to Fiona Daffern, HR Policy and Planning, by 15 August 2011.

UCL context

We are particularly concerned about the proposed changes to employment related settlement and tier 5 and would value your feedback so that we can incorporate it into UCL's formal feedback. We are particularly interested in any examples of cases where the proposals, if implemented, would negatively impact on your ability to either have applied for a position with UCL or to remain at UCL. This might include, for example, where one or more of your adult dependants would not be able to satisfy the proposed English language requirement.

Please be aware that the proposals, if implemented, will have retrospective effect from April this year.

The proposals

Key proposals, which impact on UCL, are as follows:

  • re-branding Tier 2 (the skilled worker route) as temporary, ending the assumption that settlement will be available for those who enter on this route;
  • allowing certain categories of Tier 2 migrant, for example those earning over £150,000 or occupations of a specific economic or social value to the UK, to retain an automatic route to settlement (whilst the press release suggests a wider field of valuable people could have an automatic settlement route, the detailed Home Office document defines this as 'ministers of religion, elite sportspeople, those earning over £150,000');
  • creating a new category into which, after three years in the UK, the most exceptional Tier 2 migrants may switch and go on to apply for settlement (no indication yet of how this would be assessed. It is likely to be capped);
  • allowing Tier 2 migrants who do not switch into a settlement route to stay for a maximum of five years with the expectation that they and any dependants will leave at the end of that time;
  • introducing an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route to settlement;
  • restricting the maximum period of leave for Tier 5 Temporary Workers to 12 months (this includes sponsored researchers);
  • consider capping the maximum period of Tier 1 temporary leave at 5 years and restricting the number of exceptional talent migrants granted settlement.

This would mean the majority of people UCL sponsor under Tier 2 would have to leave after a maximum of 5 years, potentially acting as a disincentive to relocate in the first instance and impacting on ongoing research at the end of this period. This would seriously harm our 'global' brand.

These changes would apply retrospectively to those entering the points-based system from April 2011.

Fiona Daffern, Head of Employment Policy Development, Human Resources