U.K. Lures Highly Skilled Workers Banned from the U.S.

June 29, 2020 | United States of America

Following the Trump Administration’s ban on select applications for temporary foreign worker visas and green cards, the United Kingdom is encouraging highly skilled foreign nationals to move to the U.K. instead.

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order banning many nonimmigrant groups from entering the country through the end of 2020 and possibly longer, including individuals seeking an H-1B and L-1 visa. The executive order, effective June 24, 2020, extends a presidential proclamation issued on April 22, 2020 preventing certain green card applicants. The new restrictions prevent highly skilled H-1B employees from seeking work authorization in the U.S. It also prevents companies abroad from transferring staff to the U.S. via L-1 visas.

While the current administration is discouraging foreign workers from entering the country due to fears that immigration will hurt the nation’s economy, the U.K. is taking the opposite approach. Many companies, especially those in the technology sector, are eager to hire employees who cannot work in the U.S. They point out that the U.K. still has programs available for foreign workers, including the U.K. Global Talent Visa, that encourage foreign employees to find work in the U.K. Tech companies in the U.K. also note that London is one of the largest tech hubs in Europe. That sentiment is echoed by many tech companies across the European Union as well. They point out that immigrants who are banned from the U.S. would be an asset to tech hubs across Europe, including large hubs in Estonia and France. Furthermore, foreign workers can live, work, and retire within 27 E.U. member states.