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Post-Brexit Job Opportunities for Non-UK Residents

There are few who would argue that Brexit was not a landmark event for the UK. After decades as fully paid up members of the European Union (EU), the majority of voters in the 2016 EU referendum decided they would rather leave than remain. We will not know for many years whether this gamble will pay-off, or not, but it may provide new and exciting opportunities for those keen to exploit them. As the old adage goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

For non-UK nationals wishing to come to the UK to work, the landscape has shifted due to Brexit. Most notably, EU nationals who do not have settled status in the UK will need to apply for a work visa. Non-EU nationals will still need a visa as they always have, but the lowering of the salary and skills thresholds may open up options that were not previously available. In addition, the ending of EU free movement means that many EU nationals have returned to their home country, leaving large gaps in labour supply that need to be filled. In this article, we will discuss some of the top job opportunities for non-UK nationals in the UK.

Healthcare Roles

At present, due to COVID-19, there is no data on the number of job vacancies in the NHS, but in the last statistics report from NHS Digital, there were 23,357 advertised vacancy full-time equivalents in England in March 2020. As such, there is a long-standing and ongoing shortage of healthcare workers in a range of roles, including nurses, midwives, GPs, doctors, and mental health professionals. This has been exacerbated by Brexit. NHS Employers (part of the NHS Confederation) says, “The United Kingdom's vote in the European Union (EU) referendum to leave the EU, and subsequent departure in January 2021, has created significant uncertainty among our NHS workforce”.

Even before the UK’s final departure from the EU, many EU workers in the healthcare sector were leaving in droves. By the end of 2019, it was estimated that around 10,000 EU nationals had left the UK, including 5,000 nurses. The shortage of healthcare workers has also been exacerbated by COVID-19. The very fact that nationals of so many countries are now blocked from entering the UK due to the pandemic, most recently from the UAE, means that the NHS’s supply of non-UK staff is smaller than ever. For all of these reasons, there are now considerable opportunities for those in the following professions (these are the eligible roles for the UK Health and Care visa):

  • biological scientists and biochemists
  • physical scientists
  • medical practitioners
  • psychologists
  • pharmacists
  • ophthalmic opticians
  • dental practitioners
  • medical radiographers
  • podiatrists
  • health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • speech and language therapists
  • therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
  • nurses
  • midwives, and;
  • social workers
  • paramedics

In addition to being in a healthcare role, you also require a salary of at least £20,480 (or the going rate for the role).

STEM Roles

The Home Office’s shortage occupation list (SOL) provides a strong indication as to which skills are in great demand. Roles in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) feature heavily on the latest version of the SOL, including:

  • biological scientists and biochemists
  • engineering geologist
  • hydrogeologist
  • geophysicist
  • civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • electrical and electronics engineers
  • design and development engineers
  • IT business analysts, architects and systems designers

In part, the Home Office wants to attract specialists in these areas to ensure that large investment projects in the UK can be delivered, and to do so requires strong STEM expertise. It is also because, in the run-up to the UK’s departure from the EU, there was already a large shortage of STEM skilled workers, with nearly 90% of STEM employers struggling to find employees.

Lowering Of The Skill Level Provides More Opportunities For Non-UK Nationals

One of the main changes made to the UK work visa system was to reduce the skills threshold from RQF-6 to RQF-3; i.e. from degree level skills to A-Level skills. This provides a wide variety of opportunities for non-UK nationals who would previously have been unable to work in the UK because they do not have vocational skills which are equivalent to degree level. For 2021, many RQF-3 occupations were added to the list of eligible roles for the Skilled Worker visa, including:

  • Vehicle paint technicians
  • Boat and shipbuilders and repairers
  • Rail and rolling stock builders and repairers
  • Electricians and electrical fitters
  • Telecommunications engineers
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
  • Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters
  • Carpet fitter
  • Ceramic tiler
  • Flooring contractor
  • Mosaic floor layer
  • Painters and decorators
  • Construction and building trades supervisors
  • Weavers and knitters
  • Upholsterers
  • Footwear and leather working trades
  • Tailors and dressmakers
  • Textiles, garments and related trades
  • Pre-press technicians Compositor
  • Printers
  • Print finishing and binding workers
  • Butchers
  • Bakers and flour confectioners
  • Fishmongers and poultry dressers
  • Catering and bar managers
  • Glass and ceramics makers, decorators and finishers
  • Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  • Florists
  • Senior care workers

The challenge for many non-UK nationals with any of the above skills will be meeting the minimum salary requirement of £25,600. Where there are considerable shortages of workers in the coming years, it is reasonable to expect wages will rise due to competition for suitable candidates, and a growing willingness by employers to pay more to recruit from outside of the UK.

Final Words

It is a shame that the Home Office did not add senior care workers to the list of roles on the Shortage Occupation List. There is clearly a shortage in this area, and only by adding carers to the SOL, can workers meet the lower salary threshold of £20,480. Putting this aside, there is now a much broader range of roles available to migrant workers not previously available to those outside the EU. If you need any assistance with securing a work visa, speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to advise you on your next steps.

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University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

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"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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"Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to ...

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