Occupations inside of takeaways, sun tan parlours, and petrol stations were promoted as highly skilled positions to allow bosses to ‘sponsor’ employees from abroad to move to the UK. However, a clampdown by migration administrators learnt more than 2,500 migrants were provided with visas for occupations which either did not exist or were wholly unlike those publicised.
Instances consist of a takeaway demanding it required a PR manager, a full-time human resources boss for an off-licence with merely three people working there, and two “family therapists” at what was eventually revealed to be Thai massage salon.
Additional false occupations exposed by officials involved a £30,000-a-year sales director job for a corner shop, a commercial development manager at a petrol station and an additional general manager for a fishmonger which only had six people working there.
Migration and Security Minister James Brokenshire exclaimed: “We’ve all heard the stories under the last government of people on skilled visas, working as takeaway drivers – but our reforms are cracking down on abuse.” “The fact that fewer than two per cent of Tier 2 sponsor licence applications were refused under the old government is ample illustration of the open-door immigration policy and the incompetence of the UK Border Agency in administering it.”
“Our reformed immigration enforcement operation has been given renewed focus and vigour by operating under direct ministerial over-sight.” “Crackdowns like this are yet another example of how we are building an immigration system that works for British nationals and legitimate migrants, and is tough on those who flout the rules.”
During 2008, only 1.7% of Tier 2 visa requests were disallowed by the Government, but that number has now risen to 37%. The tier scheme was presented by Labour in 2008, to aid in filling openings in the job marketplace.
There are five levels in the scheme, individually outlining distinct standards for non-EU citizen to match before being given a visa.
Tier 2 is for “skilled workers” with a job offer in the UK, and all migrants requesting a visa on this foundation, require a “certificate of sponsorship” from their potential employer. This documentation verifies the candidate will fill a sincere job opening in the UK, and the visa usually persists for five years and 14 days. The most current list of these occupations accessible from the Government consist of nuclear medicine scientists, professional signal engineers for the rail business and chemistry and physics lecturers.
The Government declared it had constricted the guidelines on giving Tier 2 visas by examining not just the occupations being publicised, but the scope and background of the business seeking to fill the job. Ukip MEP Steven Woolfe, the party’s migration spokesperson, said the Government is “late to the table to fix the problem” of this visa con.