Only 5% of third-country architects who applied for a Tier 2 visa had their applications approved, while another 105 failed to obtain a visa. Figures show a shockingly low success rate of the Tier 2 visa applications among non-EU architects attempting to come to live and work in the UK, November 2017 to April 2018.
Home Office data, published by the Eversheds Sutherland also show that less than 18% of the applications submitted by civil engineers and 27% of applications submitted by project managers coming from third-world countries, were approved and issued a Tier 2 visa.
Zaha Hadid Architects chief executive Mouzhan Majidi called the rate of visa rejections for architects as ‘terrible’ and damaging for the economy of the United Kingdom. Foster + Partners managing director Matthew Street joined the critics, threatening that if Brexit goes badly, the firm would move its headquarters out of the UK.
The big-name architects have been backed by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, whose spokesperson said that firms like ZHA and Fosters were rightly concerned about their ability to attract global talent post-Brexit. The spokesperson insisted that Mayor Khan has consistently backed the proposal to scrap the Tier 2 visa annual cap, or at least to increase it.
“This policy is risking London and the UK’s reputation as a place that welcomes global skills and talent and is hampering the growth of the capital’s businesses. Sadiq has been clear that post-Brexit, the government must ensure London’s businesses, from banking and architecture to construction and hospitality – are able to continue recruiting the talent they need from Europe and around the world,” the spokesperson said.
Figures obtained by the Eversheds Sutherland law firm, also show that 2,360 non-EEA doctors have been rejected by the Home Office between November 6 and April 5 this year, despite the job shortage that the National Health System is facing.
However, since July 6, overseas doctors and nurses wishing to work and live in Britain will be exempt from the cap on Tier 2 visas, introduced by PM May herself when she was Home Secretary, after Home Office and May anti-migration policy have faced a lot of criticism on the cap.
An analysis of the Global Future think tank shows that one in eleven health service posts are currently vacant, which means than more than a thousand NHS posts remain unfilled, including 35 thousand nurse posts and nearly ten thousand doctor posts. After July 6, it is expected that these jobs will be filled by non-EU medical staff.