While the tier 2 work permit scheme offers an alternative route into the UK for people with specific skills to provide, it has come under scrutiny in the past. Many applicants hoping for British naturalisation say that applying for UK visas under the tier 2 work permit is an expensive, complicated and time-consuming process for employees and employers alike.
Even with the help of UK immigration lawyers, the Home Office guides provided can be very difficult to understand, which may be why many experts are concerned that future applicants may be put off immigration altogether. Fortunately, there may be a solution underway for teachers in the UK. Thanks to a campaign launched by the Times Educational Supplement or "TeS", the UK government will be reviewing the UK work permit options available for international teachers.
As part of a recruitment and retention strategy for academic talent in the UK that was published in the 28th of January 2019, the government department for education said that it would consider providing international teachers with higher priority status for the tier 2 work permit.
A campaign called #LetThemTeach is partially responsible for the decision to assess the work permit options. The campaign was launched after a TeS investigation in the summer of 2018 revealed that international teachers were being forced to leave their jobs and exit the UK because they were unable to receive indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In the new teacher recruitment and retention strategy, the DfE said that it will begin to consider whether there is a case for allowing additional teaching professionals into the country in the years ahead. This could make a huge difference to school leaders who have claimed that tier 2 work permit refusals have been having a "critical" effect on their ability to fill vacancies for critical educational areas.
The decision to review the tier 2 work permit for teachers comes at a time when some groups are calling for the permit cap to be removed entirely.