Employment: Commonwealth Professionals

House of Lords written question – answered at on 11 February 2014.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to easing the requirements for professionals from Commonwealth countries to be able to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Commonwealth professionals already benefit from a variety of routes to work in the UK.

Like all non-EEA nationals, Commonwealth nationals may apply to work in the UK if they have a graduate level job from a licensed Sponsor, who has been unable to fill that job from the resident labour market.

Over 27,000 UK employers are licensed Sponsors and in the year ending September 2013, we issued 64,414 visas to Commonwealth nationals to work in the UK.

In addition to the usual visa routes, the UK Ancestry route allows Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent to come to work in the UK.

Some Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia and New Zealand) also benefit from the reciprocal Youth Mobility Scheme which allows young people (aged 18-30) from participating countries to experience life and work in the UK.

The Government does not plan to make significant changes to these arrangements, although we regularly keep them under review.

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