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New visa levy could affect businesses

The UK government announced in the Queen’s speech a proposed new immigration bill. It stated it would try to make it illegal for businesses to recruit just from abroad alone without advertising those jobs in English in the UK.

Within the proposed laws in the bill, the UK government plans to launch a consultation process on the introduction of a new visa levy on businesses recruiting from abroad.

Businesses employing foreign labour will have to pay a new visa levy which will be used to fund apprenticeship schemes for British workers.

The government has stated ‘A consultation will be carried out on funding apprenticeship schemes for British and EU workers by implementing a new visa levy on businesses that use foreign labour.’

It is not known when the scheme will be branched out, however, if the proposed visa levy is imposed it could impact workers being hired from countries outside the EU.

David Cameron announced 3 million more apprenticeships over the next five years and a new law to ensure the minimum wage remains tax free, however many young apprentices are missing out on the minimum wage and applications for apprenticeships were at a high of 1.8 million for only 166,000 posts last year.

This is not the first time the current government has introduced additional visa fees, for example through the health surcharge, charging migrants to gain access to the NHS in the visa application, even though migrants use the service less frequently.

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