Why do foreign citizens come to the UK for work?

Why do foreign citizens come to the UK for work?

Economic prowess alone makes a country attractive to many foreign citizens looking for work. The United Kingdom, a member of G7, or the seven most advanced economies in the world, is amongst the most popular destinations for overseas labour. In the newest survey conducted by the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), the UK ranked third; only falling behind Switzerland and Singapore. Among the key factors that boosted it rankings were its local labour market’s flexibility and openness to employing overseas talents.  
Not even Brexit could suppress its job market growth. According to the Bank of England, the unemployment rate in the country will remain at a very low below-5 percent rate this year, just several points off from its 11-year low of 4.8 percent. Its economy, in general, is heading towards a minor growth that is “stronger than expected” as the rising number of students going to universities, improving life expectancy and health, and transparency in governance continue to attract investors and foreign talents despite the anxiety brought about by Brexit. In a recent research conducted by Transparency International, The UK remains among the most honest and cleanest nations in the world, currently tied at #10 with Luxembourg and Germany.

What do the stats say?
From March 2016  to March 2017, a total 56,051 Tier 2 Skilled work-sponsored applications from non-European Economic Area (EEA) were lodged, up by several points from the same period of the previous year at 56,324. There was also a staggering 36 percent increase in visa applications for work in the Human health and social work activities segment.
For Tier 2 Skilled (sponsored) work visas, which include dependents, a total of 93,566 applications were approved, up 2 percent from March 2016 at 91,797 approvals. Moreover, 11 percent of the 4,677 Tier 1 visas granted in the year ending March 2017 were for the Exceptional talent visas, up by 130 percent over the previous year.
On the other hand, the number of the non-European Union (EU) long-term immigrants in the UK on a work visa decreased by 11 percent from current levels of 66,000 to just 59,000. According to the data from the Labour Force Survey, foreign nationals and immigrants played a crucial role in closing the attrition rate in the country. EU citizens contributed 44 percent to the current employment total of 31.9 million while non-EI citizens accounted for 9 percent, adding a total of 385,000 occupations with local workers contributing only 46 percent.
Indian nationals dominate the number of skilled immigrant workers at 58 percent. In the same period, almost 97 percent of Skilled Visa approvals were granted (93,566). The top 5 sectors for skilled work visa applicants include: 
  • Information and communication (23, 216 occupations)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical (10, 027)
  • Finance and insurance (6,717)
  • Health and social work (5,378)
  • Education (2, 873) among many others. 

Interested in building a career in the UK? Speak to one of our ICCRC-regulated UK migration consultants and they'll happily answer any questions you may have about work visas in the UK. You can also take our free online assessment first to determine your eligibility to obtain a work visa to the UK.

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