News Archive - February 2019

Architects Ask for "Drastic" Changes to UK Visas

08 Feb 2019 | Posted by Carl Thomas

As various sectors in the UK continue to worry about issues with the tier 2 work permit, the architectural industry has requested a "drastic" overhaul to the application process in a post-Brexit Britain.

According to those opposing the current UK work permit strategy, significant changes are necessary if the architectural sector has any hope of continuing to flourish in the years ahead.

According to recent reports, Brexit has led to a 42% reduction in the number of architects applying for UK visas. The Royal Institute of British Architects found that since 2016's referendum, the number of architects coming into the country with a UK work permit has dropped by almost half. This is a significant problem for immigration UK officials, as foreign nationals make up around a quarter of the architectural workforce, and 80% of them come from the EU.

RIBA suggests that the new immigration UK white paper is a "disaster" for the architecture sector. The group surveyed over 600 architects who came to the country on a UK work permit and found that many architects in the country currently come to the UK as students, seeking to find new career opportunities in Britain. Failure to protect the future immigration system for architects could mean that there aren't enough UK visas available to protect our pipeline of skilled industry talent.

Some reports suggest that hiring patterns are already beginning to suffer outside of London and in smaller practices, where the yearly wage for an architect may fall under the cap required for the tier 2 work permit. According to RIBA, only 5% of the tier 2 work permit applications made in the sector went through successfully between the months of 2017 and April 2018, indicating the need for a reform in the system.

Many people both inside and outside of the architectural sector believe that a new approach for Immigration UK is required. The 42% reduction in the number of EU architects since 2016 is a sure sign that talent in the EU is beginning to look outside of the UK for opportunities - a bad sign for our economy.