[LRUG] American curious about Rails Dev opportunities in London

Rob Miller rob at bigfish.co.uk
Fri Jul 31 09:55:32 PDT 2015

My friendly local immigration barrister (aka my partner) says: this is 
true, with a few minor considerations. I’m paraphrasing her so any 
errors are mine:

1. Shortage occupations aren’t subject to the resident labour market 
test. In February, the Migratory Advisory Committee recommended that the 
following job titles be added: “product manager”, “data 
scientist”, “senior developer”, and “cyber security 
specialist” — so while they’re not currently shortage occupations 
they are likely to be added to the list next year, opening this up to 
many Ruby developers

2. High earners are also exempt from the resident labour market test 
(the threshold is £155,300, though, so congratulations if this applies 
to you!)

3. The cap is points-based, so your education, earning potential, 
English language ability etc. will increase your chances of being one of 
the lucky ~21k a year who receive a visa — these are things 
developers will do relatively well on, particularly native English 

Separately, if you’re swimming in cash you could consider applying as 
an investor or as an entrepreneur, which is much more straightforward 
but obviously requires you to be pretty rich. (Shockingly, the system 
cares a lot more about you when you’re a squillionaire; who’d’ve 

Finally, as a further moon-shot, there’s the exceptional talent route 
which is much better than Tier 2 General but also much, much more 
difficult to obtain. It is possible, though. Here’s an article on it: 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living with an immigration 
lawyer it’s that migrating to the UK subjects you to a nightmarish, 
Kafkaesque world of unyielding bureaucracy, but also that it’s very 
much possible to come out of the other side. Best of luck!



Rob Miller

On 31 Jul 2015, at 16:04, Olly Headey wrote:

> This is correct, but the devil is in the detail.
> Significantly, the sponsor company also has to pass the resident 
> market
> labour test. This means they have to advertise the vacancy on 
> sanctioned
> channels to prove that there is no UK national able to do the job. The
> sanctioned channels are such places as the governments own online job 
> site,
> a national newspaper, so one can imagine it's not quite as difficult 
> as it
> might seem to pass.
> Secondly, there are limits to Tier-2 visa allocations (unless you're a
> minister of religion or a professional sportsperson – Premier League
> lobbying is apparently effective). Only ~2000 (possibly less) 
> certificates
> of sponsorships are issues each month under current regulations.
> So it's certainly not insurmountable, but the current government are 
> making
> it increasingly difficult. If you manage to secure a CoS and get the 
> visa,
> it's for 3 years. After that time you will be able to apply for 
> renewal
> which is for 2 further years. At that point, you're eligible for 
> residency.
> Good luck!
> Olly
> -- 
> *Olly Headey* :: Co-Founder and CTO
> FreeAgent
> *www.freeagent.com* <http://www.freeagent.com/>
> Twitter: @lylo <https://twitter.com/lylo>
> LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/oheadey
> FreeAgent Central, One Edinburgh Quay, 133 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, 
> EH3
> 9QG.
> Registered in sunny Scotland SC316774
> On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 10:05 AM, Tom Stuart <tom at codon.com> wrote:
>> Here’s the basic information you need: 
>> https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general
>> The short version is that yes, you can move to the UK and work, as 
>> long as
>> you have a job offer from a company that has a “sponsor licence” 
>> (
>> https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers) and you meet 
>> certain
>> other criteria (salary, savings, English language proficiency etc) 
>> that
>> probably pose no problem for a US citizen in the tech industry.
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