Corporate Insight: Immigration - the movement of talent across borders

Thanks to advances in technology, the business world has become a much smaller place.

04 Aug 2016
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Markets have expanded and new innovations occur each day. Therefore, as a business, you will need to have the best people working for you in order to ensure you remain ahead of the game. This may mean that you have to bring in overseas talent. Alternatively, you may be a large international business which operates in a variety of different markets and therefore your employees will need to be well-versed in all the issues, trends and opportunities in each market place. This may mean that you need to rotate your staff between key jurisdictions in order to give them exposure and experience in different arenas.

What does all of the above have in common?
Immigration – the movement of people across borders. We want to highlight some key points that all businesses need to bear in mind when relocating talent to the UK.

Get advice early

Whilst this may seem like an obvious point it is still quite important. There are a range of options available for bringing talent into the UK for your business and the sooner you get some advice on those options the sooner your talent gap may be plugged. The other point to consider is that an immigration specialist may be able to identify easier routes for the individual you want to hire and that in turn will save you time and money. Most businesses believe that the only option for bringing in talent is the Tier 2 work permit scheme however there are also other options. There is UK Ancestry, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Sole Representative and the Van der Elst visa. Naturally these different categories may suit some individuals better than others, but the point would be to get advice on each individual case as it arises so that the best option is selected for your employee and your business.

Plan your global mobility timetable and monitor it

For large international businesses looking to increase exposure in foreign markets for employees, this is a key point to remember. The importance of planning your global mobility timetable is that it maximises business efficiencies, reduces cost and tying this to the point above, allows you to seek advice early. Once you have your timetable, it is then important to monitor it and have it reviewed at least twice a year by an immigration lawyer. Immigration law in the UK changes on a frequent basis and it may be that an immigration lawyer can identify potential cost or legal issues in advance, thereby allowing the business to plan for those concerns. By way of example, a number of large international businesses have accelerated some of their intra-company transfers because of the Immigration Skills Charge which is due to come in next April. This Skills Charge will cost each employer £1,000 per employee brought into the UK – therefore businesses who were originally intending to bring staff to the UK in May or June 2017 have brought those plans forward by a few months in order to save thousands of pounds.

Know the limitations of the visas that your employees hold

Most businesses encounter difficulties with the Home Office because they do not take the time to understand what it is that the employees are permitted or not permitted to do on their visas. By way of an example, if you sponsor an individual under the Tier 2 regime to come into the UK as a graphics designer then you cannot expect that same person to complete the job of an office manager.

Like many things in business, forward planning and obtaining expert advice can often make the whole venture more efficient, cheaper and successful.


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