Cat Smith – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Cat Smith on 2015-10-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on amending the immigration system to increase the supply of non-domiciled seafarers to the UK shipping industry.

James Brokenshire

The Government is committed to reducing net migration and employers’ dependence on overseas workers.

We have no plans to amend the immigration system specifically to increase the supply of non-EEA seamen and shore-based workers to the maritime sector. The immigration system does not interfere with the ability of UK-owned shipping businesses to employ non-EEA crew where they are engaged on international journeys. Non-EEA seamen who arrive in UK waters on board a vessel and are engaged to depart on that vessel, or who seek entry to the UK to join a vessel that is due to leave UK waters, do not require a work permit.

Shore-based employment in the sector is, however, subject to the same controls as employment in any other sector, and non-EEA workers will normally require authorisation under the Tier 2 (General) category of the Points Based System. The Government has commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to provide advice on restricting Tier 2 work visas to genuine skills shortages and highly specialist experts, with sufficient flexibility to include high value roles and key public service workers.