#Article (Archive)

UK border agency maintains suspension of Tier 3 immigration route

Jan 27, 2014, 10:08 AM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s UK correspondent

Investigations conducted by The Point have confirmed that the once famous Tier 3 Immigration route available for ‘low-skilled’ jobs is ‘still suspended’ by the UK Border Agency for an ‘indefinite period’.

Thus certain Gambians and Senegalese nationals concern who have been asking questions regarding the issue should contact Regulated Immigration Advisers for professional advice and valid guidance.

The Tier 3 was part of the points-based system that was successfully implemented in 2008. The whole system was specifically designed to replace both the Sector Based Scheme (SBS) and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) for non EEA nationals (except for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals).

A spokesperson very familiar with the matter told this correspondent Thursday morning that she personally believes that ‘low-skilled jobs expected to be done by those from outside of the EEA is no longer necessary at this particularly moment, asthe labour needs will be met from within the EEA’.

Under that particular category, a visa could be issued for ‘not more than 12 months’ and the individual won’t be allowed to bring ‘spouses or family members into the country’.

Also there was ‘no language requirement for Tier 3 workers’; however, an applicant is expected to speak at least Basic English. It was widely deemed as a ‘temporary visa’, which was why the route was very popular for not only West Africans who came from non English countries, but also from others around the globe.

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to note that it is a myth to suggest that the current EEA nationals expected to take such jobs will get them straightforwardly or live here without restraint.

This correspondent has unveiled that currently there are certain ‘packages of restrictions’ by the UK government for the new EEA workers.

For example: ‘No newly-arrived EU jobseekers will be able to claim housing benefit’; no ‘EU migrant will be entitled to out-of-work benefits for the first three months; ‘no EU migrant will be able to claim job-seeker’s allowance (JSA) for more than a maximum of six months unless they can prove that they have a genuine prospect of employment’.

Even though an official sympathetic with the concerns forwarded by The Point’s readers strongly commended Gambians for their ‘hard work, honestyand law-abiding ever since…’; unfortunately those still trying to pursue the ‘suspended’ Tier 3 route will have to wait much longer - especially when the EU restrictions imposed on Romanians and Bulgarians are now lifted, since 1 January 2014.