Academic staff visa for UK universities is expected to experience significant changes in the following months according to governmental plans. This will, in turn, elicit different reactions across UK universities including a possible sharp upsurge in academic staff visas applications. Some of the planned changes are increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge and extension of the settled status scheme put in place for EU nationals.
100% increase in Immigration Health Surcharge
An annual £200 for immigration health surcharge is imposed on all Tier 2 sponsored employees. This applies to both primary applicant and all their dependents (e.g., families). This surcharge gives applicants, as well as their dependents, access to NHS service like any other UK citizen. From December 2018 (if approved by parliament), a hundred percent increase has been declared by the government implying that immigration health surcharge will cost £400 annually for workers while that for students will also double from £150 - £300.
This represents a substantial increase in cost for both employees and students, particularly for those with many family members. Universities across the UK must move quickly to take advantage of this little window to finalize as many as possible academic staff visas before the approval and endorsement of the new law.
Settled status pilot extension
The settled status pilot is made for EU nationals who want to remain in the UK post-Brexit. Employees who work for either UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) or the UK based overseas HEI are eligible to apply from 15 November 2018. This is excellent news for people who have concerns for post Brexit status. Application for settled status under the new laws will be for:
- Resident citizen of EU who has a valid passport or
- Non-citizen of EU (with biometric residence card) who is the family member of an EU citizen
The employee is equally required to either own or has access to an Android device to enable him/her use a Home Office in the process of application.
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