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Displaced Talent Mobility Scheme: 5-year work visas for skilled refugees

The government has recently launched the Displaced Talent pilot, a labour mobility scheme that will help refugees obtain 5-year work visas.

For more information about the new scheme, speak to our expert immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582.

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    What is the Displaced Talent Mobility Scheme?

    The Displaced Talent Mobility Scheme is a new pilot displaced talent visa scheme that has recently been launched by the government in a collaboration with Talent Beyond Boundaries. The labour mobility pilot aims to help those displaced by conflict and violence access our new points-based immigration system. It will do this by addressing barriers faced by displaced persons when attempting to move internationally as a skilled worker.

    The Displaced Talent Pilot is not a new form of refugee status but can rather be defined as a version of the Skilled Worker visa that will act as a complementary pathway tailored to the demographic of refugees. The eligibility criteria for a Skilled Worker Visa is strict, these criteria will not be lowered under the new pilot but it does recognize that there are administrative issues unique to displaced persons and aims to remove potential discrimination by identifying and addressing these issues.

    Under the pilot scheme, around 50-100 eligible refugees and their families will be offered a Displaced Talent Visa, this visa will allow them to live and work in the UK for up to five years and undertake skilled jobs in sectors including IT, construction and engineering.

    After living in the UK for five years, they will also be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which allows them to make the UK their permanent home. The pilot will take place over the next 1-2 years.

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    The government's commitment to resettling refugees in the UK

    MP’s are currently debating and voting on a new Nationality and Borders Bill that will see an overhaul of the UK’s asylum system that the Home Secretary has said will create a “firm but fair approach”. Two years ago, the government made a commitment to resettle around 5000 refugees. However, the Home Office scrapped this target figure and have since come under criticism from organisations such as the Refugee Council for not having a plan to resettle tens of thousands of people in need of protection in the UK.

    In response to this, ministers have promised to offer more safe and legal ways to enter the UK and have said that the new labour mobility scheme, in addition to other resettlement routes for refugees entering the UK, is part of honouring this commitment.

    Who is eligible for the Displaced Talent Visa?

    The Displaced Talent Pilot is currently open to highly skilled people who are refugees or displaced persons, most of which will be from refugee camps in Jordan or Lebanon. You could be eligible for the pilot if:

    • You are a refugee
    • You are stateless
    • You are displaced from your home country and unable to return because you would face danger there

    To qualify for this visa, you will also need to have a job offer in the UK from a registered sponsor company. Some eligibility details are not yet known, but because this visa is for highly skilled people, international skilled workers, it’s expected that applicants will also need to meet most of the same requirements for the Skilled Worker Visa. This includes meeting the minimum salary requirement and demonstrating a knowledge of the English language.

    For more information about the pilot project, speak to our team today. Get in touch

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      How will the pilot help those displaced by conflict and violence access the global points-based system?

      There are currently very few existing safe routes available for those seeking refuge in the UK. As part of their plan to overhaul the UK’s asylum system, the government has promised to launch more resettlement routes to support refugees and people fleeing war and to prevent them from making dangerous journeys to the UK.

      The Skilled Worker Visa is the most popular UK work visa and is part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system open to both EU and non-EU citizens. When immigrating to the UK as a Skilled Worker, there are administrative and legal issues that refugees may face which other demographics of immigrants do not, this can lead to discrimination in the process of obtaining UK work permits.

      The pilot project will address the issues that refugees may face when accessing work permits, it is reportedly modelled on similar skilled migration schemes in Australia and Canada where temporary visas can lead to permanent migration for refugees.

      Just a few of the issues that highly skilled people who are displaced can face when trying to access the routes provided for skilled workers include:

      • Not being visible to potential employers
      • Barriers to accessing important documents such as passports, employment references and tax records
      • The difficulty surrounding the logistics of meeting the English language requirements such as the ability to sit exams and obtain certificates.

      The additional support that refugees will receive as part of this pilot to combat some of these issues includes:

      • Priority processing
      • Case management support to overcome administrative barriers
      • Access to safeguards in the event that applicants lose their job in the UK to ensure they will not have to return to a country that may be dangerous for them
      pile of documents

      How can employers participate in the scheme?

      The new pilot project relies on the participation of potential employers. Employers who wish to partake in the scheme must be willing to hire and sponsor displaced workers through existing skilled worker route or the Skilled Worker route. This means that participating employers will need to have a Sponsor Licence and will need to uphold the duties of a sponsor company.

      To get involved in the scheme UK companies will need to register their interest on the Talent Beyond Boundaries website. Once you have registered your interest, TBB will contact you with more information about the pilot and whether you are eligible to participate.

      If you are accepted into the scheme, TBB will select highly skilled candidates from their catalogue of over 25,000 displaced workers suitable for the roles that you are hiring for. Once you have identified candidates that could be suitable for the role, TBB and their partners will help to arrange the logistics of interviews. After you have selected your candidate, TBB will continue to the recruitment process and work with you and your new employee to secure the visa.

      How can refugees participate in the scheme?

      Skilled refugees who wish to participate in the scheme must also register their interest with Talent Beyond Boundaries. You will need to register on their Talent Catalogue, to register you will need to provide details about your skills, work history and education.

      Talent Beyond Boundaries screen all potential applicants that have registered for the Talent Catalogue. When a role from a sponsor company is identified, they will select a shortlist of successful candidates from the Talent Catalogue and will arrange interviews with the sponsor company. It will then be up to the sponsor company to decide their preferred candidate for the role.

      Once you have secured a job offer, Talent Beyond Boundaries will work with you, your employer and immigration professionals to prepare your immigration application.

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      Who are Talent Beyond Boundaries?

      Talend Beyond Boundaries (TBB) is a charity that supports refugees and other displaced people with professional skills who want to move internationally to work.

      TBB connects employers with prospective employees who are seeking refuge, they also work with governments and collaborate with other partners to open migration pathways for refugees. As an international organization, TBB has developed similar labour mobility schemes in other countries including Canada and Australia.

      The charity believes in creating solutions to the refugee crisis that benefit both refugees and their family members as well as employers, communities and host countries.

      Our immigration lawyers can help you to apply for your UK work visa. Find out more

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        How to Apply

        As well as the displaced person applying for the visa, existing skilled worker rules the UK-based employer must also meet eligibility criteria.

        The criteria are outlined in detail below.

        Displaced workers

        To apply for the visa, follow the below steps:

        • Visit Talent Beyond Boundaries’ online registration site
        • Indicate whether you are a stateless or displaced person as of right now.
        • Give information about your identity, country of residence, year of entry, nationality, and any affiliations with NGOs or other organisations.
        • Choose the area in which they are proficient
        • Include details about their prior employment history.
        • Give details about your education.
        • Describe your current level of English fluency.
        • Provide any extra details regarding your professional background.

        It can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex to apply for a UK visa. This immigration option has the benefit of offering applicants priority processing at no additional expense.

        Additionally, if they require assistance with any other administrative and legal barriers or matters, case workers will provide them with specialised support.

        For instance, assistance will be provided if a person needs to get a passport, a reference from their employer, a tax record, a qualification, or a certification.

        A displaced individual may not be able to access their paperwork for obvious reasons, which is why further assistance can be so helpful.

        How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

        Here at London Immigration Lawyers, we believe that everyone should have access to reliable immigration advice and assistance. Our immigration lawyers are trained in all areas of UK immigration law and are up to date with the latest changed to the immigration system, including the introduction of new schemes like the Displaced Talent pilot. If you need help with your visa application, our professional immigration lawyers are here for you. We can support you throughout the visa application process.

        Just a few of the immigration services that we provide include:

        • Professional immigration advice
        • Document and application checking
        • Application assistance – including assistance with filling in paperwork and gathering supporting documents
        • Fast-track application services
        • Legal aid for asylum seekers and displaced people

        As well as helping people looking to immigrate to the UK, we also provide corporate immigration services for businesses looking to hire overseas workers. If you are a company interested in displaced foreign nationals or in taking part in the new pilot scheme, our team can help you to prepare for hiring foreign nationals by assisting you with your Sponsor Licence application and giving you professional advice about your responsibilities as a sponsor company.

        For more information about any of our immigration services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today by calling 020 4502 8582.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You can do any of the occupations that are eligible for the Skilled Worker route with the Displaced Talent scheme. However, roles that are listed on the Shortage Occupation List will be prioritised, this includes roles such as care workers, nurses, engineers and more.

                  This visa is quicker to obtain than other work visas because applications will be subject to priority processing, this means applications are processed within 5 working days.

                  Priority processing usually costs £500 but there is no additional fee for this under the Displaced Talent scheme.

                  Yes, successful Displaced Talen Visa applicants can bring their family members to the UK with them. The family members that can join them in the UK include spouses and dependent children.