News Archive - February 2020

Should the UK Work Permit Threshold for Architects be Increased?

07 Feb 2020 | Carl Thomas

The Migration Advisory Committee, or MAC has been in the news a lot recently, providing information, guidance, and recommendations about the UK work permit rules following Brexit. According to MAC, not only should a full points-based system be rejected as a replacement for the tier 2 work permit, but certain caps on income should be raised for specific employees.

According to the MAC group, the salary threshold to apply for a work permit in the UK should be increased from £30,000 to £35,000 for architects from outside of the UK. In the MAC group’s latest report, the panel dismissed calls for the points-style immigration system and said that salary thresholds need updating to match the true earning potential of people in different professions.

The MAC is a group sponsored by the Home Office that is tasked with the process of reviewing migration policies and making regular recommendations. However, the report that the MAC has produced on behalf of the home office and home secretary Priti Patel is unlikely to have much of an impact on the Government’s migration bill, which will be introduced in March 2020.

Overseas architects attempting to acquire UK visas today must prove that they have been offered a job paying £30,000 a year to get a tier 2 work permit. However, the recommendations from MAC would require architects would have to prove that they had a job offer from a company that would put them in the top 75% of the top-paid architects in the UK.

When making the suggestion, the MAC cited information from the Office of National Statistics survey of hours and earnings, indicating that the threshold should also be changed on a yearly basis. The MAC group also highlighted that having a threshold can be difficult for companies who want to overcome labour shortages. However, the MAC believes that thresholds help to prevent undercutting in the labour market and stop employers from hiring people overseas just because they’re cheaper.