EXPERTS THINK We asked immigration experts across the global mobility sector for their views on whether Brexit Britain was pro-immigration and what this means for business.

Peter Graham, Group Director of Visa and Immigration Services at Santa Fe Relocation, said: “Immigration has always been a complex

maze of laws and procedures, not least because of its deeply political nature. Organisations that thrive are increasingly drawing on diverse talent from new sources on a more global basis than ever before. “At the same time, we see an increasing

number of governments pursuing a more nationalistic approach aimed at protecting their own labour markets. For the UK Government to ‘get this right’ in a post-Brexit environment, it will be critical for them to listen closely to industry and to respond quickly to their needs. “This must be done against a background

of pressure from third countries seeking to gain concessions on immigration for their nationals during the round of post-Brexit trade talks that are now well underway between the UK and countries around the world. Countries such as China and India have already declared this publicly as one of their objectives in these negotiations.”

COVID-19 ACCELERATES DIGITAL IMPACT Kathrine Ayers, Global Immigration Specialist – UK & EMEA at Envoy Global, observed the impact of technology. “Immigration processes worldwide are evolving at a rapid pace, much due to Covid-19. Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to monitor changes in systems across countries to ensure they are providing more up-to-date and helpful information to employees. “Today, the UK in particular is working to

adjust its immigration processes to reach a similar level compared to other countries. Like many others, it is focused on becoming more digitised and streamlined through processes, like introducing an updated points-based system (PBS) to include EU and EEA nationals beginning in 2021.”


BENEFITS FOR BUSINESS INCLUDE LOWERING REQUIRED SKILLS LEVELS Her colleague Stephanie Lewin, Head of Global Immigration – Envoy Global, commented, “Businesses are open to the changes made to the UK immigration system as they are working to create more opportunities and mend operational difficulties. The removal of the Resident Labour Market Test and decrease in minimum salary will help bridge the gap between London and regional salaries. “Businesses will favour this change as it’s

an area many have struggled with in the past. Lowering the required skill level opens up thousands more job opportunities for roles that were previously ineligible. “For students, the UK immigration system

has become more welcoming through its introduction of a Graduate Route. This permits post-graduate students who wish to obtain experience working in the UK to do so without requesting sponsorship by a company. These favourable, people-focused changes to UK immigration processes are likely to grab the attention of local businesses and those across the globe who wish to take a similar approach.”

THE EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME Naomi Hanrahan-Soar, Managing Associate – Lewis Silkin, commented on the number of EU nationals looking to remain in the UK and what this might tell us. “The EU Settlement Scheme is proving

far more popular than predicted with over 3.7 million applications having been made already and another 10 months to go. “Over nine out of ten (91%) applicants are

based in England and the top ten areas by local council are all within London. Again, this reflects that migrants are going where the most work appears to be. Unfortunately, this also means that some regions don’t receive as much benefit from entrepreneurial, working- age migrants as they may wish, hence Scotland’s drive to attract more migrants

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