Category Archives: Immigration

SAAX Group Event – “Ja, well, no, fine: Managing the transition to work and life in the UK”

GAAPS is sponsoring this evening’s SAAX Group Event for South African actuaries in the UK.

Dr Geraldine Kaye, MD of GAAPS will be introducing Professor Robert Bor who will provide a fascinating and entertaining perspective on managing the transition to work and life in the UK.

A prize will be presented for the best question asked and as always, the talk will be followed by good food, great South African wine and quality networking with fellow Southern Africans.

Full details can be found on the SAAX group website.

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Actuarial Salaries and the UK Shortage Occupation List

Actuaries have recently been added to the UK Shortage Occupation List. It is highly unlikely that there will be any major change in level of salaries as a result. It will still be extremely difficult to sponsor a work permit for someone – this only overcomes the first hurdle.

However there are two great PR advantages;

  1. The Government acknowledges that actuaries are valuable!
  2. HR departments will acknowledge there is a shortage and therefore put up the salaries they are willing to pay.

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GAAPS Campaign Success: Actuaries on the UK Shortage Occupation List

As you may be aware, GAAPS Actuarial has been petitioning for the government to include actuaries on the shortage occupation list since 2006, and it looks like our hard work and those of other organisations involved have finally paid off!

 The new guidelines in the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recognised the increasing pressure of the industry’s changing needs and have placed actuaries on its occupation shortage list.

Actuaries are included on the list as “Qualified actuaries working in the life assurance, general insurance and health and care sectors”, explaining the previous information provided by MAC regarding specific sectors. This would appear to exclude actuaries in the pensions and investment sectors. However, we will seek to clarify this information and we will publish a further post once we have a better understanding.

The revised list will come into effect from 14 November 2011. This means that:

  • For applications covered by the annual limit, the new list will apply to all applications by Tier 2 sponsors for restricted certificates of Sponsorship made on or after 14 November 2011.
  • For applications outside the annual limit, the new list will apply to all unrestricted certificates of sponsorship assigned to migrants on or after 14 November 2011.

Employers can only bring someone into the UK under Tier 2 if the job is on the shortage occupation list, or if they pass a resident labour market test (i.e. no suitable resident workers apply after advertising the job in the UK first for 4 weeks).

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Actuaries Back On the Government’s Shortage Occupation List

The Government has just published a 243 page document providing a full review of the recommended shortage occupation lists for the UK and Scotland.

Chapter 7 gives The recommended UK shortage occupation list and Page 207 lists:

Qualified actuary working in the life assurance, general insurance, and health and care sectors, etc;

Please be aware that The Professions definition of Qualified Actuaries includes Associates as well as Fellows.

As you can see the listing is ambigous in the use of the word – “etc”.

Updates will be posted to The GAAPS Blog once matters are clarified.

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Immigration Update

UK immigration changes which took effect in April 2011 have altered the process for employers looking to sponsor migrants on Tier 2 visas. They are now even more complicated.

So far, in April, May and June 2011 the total number of Certificates approved by the UK Border Agency has been less than the monthly quota. So, this route is a viable one, once the employer is prepared to take the extra step. The fact that the number of sponsorships issued is lower than the number available seems to us to demonstrate how convoluted this process is.

The limit of Tier 2 applications is now set on a monthly basis. In order for a UK employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship for a new position, an application first needs to be made to the UK Border Agency, once the employer has identified the individual they wish to sponsor.

The UK Border Agency has a set quota of applications it can approve each month. Where the total number of applications in a month exceeds the monthly quota, the UK Border Agency ranks them according to a basic points test on salary and qualifications etc.

Once the employer is given permission to sponsor the migrant, then a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued and the migrant applies for a Tier 2 visa in the normal manner.

There are exceptions to the monthly quota – those being sponsored through Intra Company Transfers, migrants already working in the UK etc.

These changes do not affect migrants looking to work in the UK on Ancestry visas nor Youth Mobility Scheme visas which are now only available to citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

The Post Study Work visa still exists but it is earmarked to be abolished by
April 2012.

Please note that the general information contained in this post s provided free and for information purposes only. Whilst we believe that the contents of the e-mail are accurate GAAPS doesn’t accept any responsibility for loss arising from reliance upon it.  GAAPS does not provide advice on immigration matters. For advice about specific cases you should seek advice from your immigration adviser.
The above information was provided to us by Tim McMahon (the director of Common Wealth Immigration).

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Interim Immigration: Panel Meets Today

The monthly panel meeting to consider applications for certificates of sponsorship (CoS) under the Tier 2 General interim limit will take place today.

Valid applications that were received on or before the 1 March 2011 will be considered  and all sponsors who have made such an application will be notified of the outcome by 11 March 2011.

You can continue to use the existing CoS (AR) form after 1 March 2011 to apply for certificates of sponsorship for extensions of Tier 2 (General) or work permit leave where the leave expires before the proposed introduction of the permanent limit on 6 April 2011 but applications made using this form after 1 March for new jobs or for switching into Tier 2 (General) will not be accepted.

Click here for Interim Management Solutions


Tier 2 Codes of Practice

The annual update to the codes of practice for sponsored skilled workers have been published by the UK border agency.

This should be used by an employer who wants to sponsor a potential employee under TIer 2 of the points-based system. These codes of practice should be used to check the skill level and appropriate pay for that job and to find out where the job must be advertised in the UK before it can be offered to a migrant worker.

Additionally, fee increases to immigration and nationality applications have been proposed.

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