The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has laid out proposals for businesses in London to sponsor foreign skilled workers with a London-only visa.
The proposals cite research commissioned by the Chamber, which noted that over 771,000 EU nationals are currently employed in a range of sectors in London, including construction (where 30% of the London workforce constitutes EU nationals), hospitality and distribution (20% of the London workforce) and banking and finance (14% of the London workforce”). The research found that under the current immigration visa rules, London would lose 160,000 workers – a £7bn loss to the economy, with £2bn of that constituting loss in direct tax contributions – as many EU nationals would likely not meet the recently amended requirements on salary thresholds provided for in the existing Tier 2 immigration rules.
The Chamber’s proposals recommend that the Mayor of London should champion a single-issue “London Work Visa” granting indefinite leave to remain, to reassure current EU national employees and their London employees. Other proposals include establishing a shortage occupation list for London in order to attract talent in certain sectors, and the Mayor of London to explore a “Capital Work Permits” system to allow London to vary its own migration levels.