Tuesday 12 July 2022
The Committee for Home Affairs is introducing new options for local employers to apply for immigration work permits, and, for healthcare employers, to recruit from a wider pool of people; all in a move to make elements of the employment process faster and smoother for industry.
New HSC employee options
The first change will see new options for employers within health and social care. They can now apply for immigration work permits for semi qualified and non-qualified healthcare support workers, where previously applications have only been considered for fully qualified staff.
This change has been made to this industry because it aligns with the UK adding supporting roles in healthcare to the national list of critical job shortages.
It will enable HSC and other health and social care employers to be more flexible when looking to recruit staff into supporting roles.
Semi-qualified staff will be able to apply for a three-year permit, and non-qualified staff will be able to apply for one year, and this can be extended if they increase their vocational qualifications during their employment.
A Population Management employment permit and a UK entry clearance visa will still also be required.
A guidance document detailing the roles and criteria is now available at gov.gg/GBA, which includes the criteria that needs to be met.
The new pre-approval process option
The second change will allow all local employers to apply for work permits in advance of recruiting a member of staff.
This new 'pre-approval' option breaks the work permit application process in to two parts: the first 'pre-approval' stage, which allows employers to identify suitable candidates and apply for the permit in advance; starting the administration process early, and then the second stage when a full permit is needed, upon notification this can be issued within a matter of days. The employee will still need to separately apply for their UK entry clearance visa before moving to the island.
This change was made in response to difficulties that various industries were experiencing in recruiting staff and recognises the current delays with the UK visa processing times due to the Ukrainian conflict. Through industry feedback, this division of the work permit process into two stages will enable business to hold a pool of potential employees that may be available at shorter notice.
There is no difference to the overall cost for the application, as long as the permit is utilised within three months from approval in principle. Immigration work permit pre-approval will be issued in much in the same way as Agreement in Principle is obtained from Population Management currently for employment permits.
Employers can still utilise the existing immigration work permit application process, the new option may prove useful for some businesses as they plan ahead.
Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:
"The Committee is always looking at ways in which we can help industry and employers by streamlining the processes which take place locally when they look to recruit staff from overseas. It is hoped that both of these changes will give more options to those employers and allow them to be more flexible when recruiting staff. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the GBA on behalf of the Committee for working so hard on this, and also working continuously to process the very high number of applications it is receiving."