BritishAmerican Business Publishes Transatlantic Labour Mobility Paper – Open for Business; Open for People!? A Way Forward for UK-US Labour Mobility

2 March 2020

Contact: Dominic Parker, Communications Manager | 020 7290 9882 | +44 7500 115 352

London/New York – Today, BritishAmerican Business (BAB) published its latest white paper laying out recommendations from the transatlantic business community on the future of transatlantic labour mobility.

The availability of workers, regardless of their country of origin, is a crucial factor in successful, internationally competitive economies which lead on trade and investment. While there are many US and UK citizens working temporarily or permanently in each other’s market, there is further potential for improvement.

Against a backdrop of domestic debates on immigration, this paper sets out a vision for the UK-US governments to use the current political momentum to improve labour mobility between their two countries.

This paper recommends:

  • Addressing the mobility of labour in the forthcoming talks and consultations of the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group.
  • Exploring how to use existing labour mobility models such as the E-3 visa system available for Australian citizens looking to work in the US as a template for a UK-US labour mobility agreement.
  • Creating an investor and business visa for US/UK professionals, renewable indefinitely and not subject to restrictive quotas.
  • Using bilateral agreements and platforms that include labour mobility provisions, such as the UK-US sciences and technology agreements, as a template for other sectors.
  • Exploring ways to speed up and offer more transparency for business visa processing at Consulates and Embassies.
  • Establishing ways to communicate any changes to visa application procedures (particularly around H-1B, E-2, L-1) as well as compliance guidelines for UK applicants.
  • Exploring ways to expand the J-1 visa programme.
  • Keeping the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in London open.
  • Exploring further options to facilitate the processing of arrivals based on already successful programs such as Global Entry (US) and Registered Traveller (UK).

BritishAmerican Business CEO Duncan Edwards commented: “The recommendations detailed in this paper set out a comprehensive, ambitious, but most importantly, achievable future for transatlantic labour mobility. The United States and United Kingdom are privileged to enjoy a workforce that is highly-educated, motivated and productive. The ability of transatlantic businesses to take advantage of this labour pool to its fullest extent will be of tremendous benefit to both the UK and US’s businesses, economies, and workers.

2020 will be a momentous year for the transatlantic relationship and we urge leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to commit to remaining open for transatlantic labour.”

For the full list of recommendations, the paper is available to download online.


About BritishAmerican Business

BritishAmerican Business is the leading transatlantic trade association created as a result of the merger between the British-American Chamber of Commerce in the US and the American Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

We are committed to strengthening the economic corridor between the United States and the United Kingdom by supporting policies and actions that protect and enhance the environment for transatlantic trade and investment on behalf of our members.

We convene and serve a growing network of companies and business leaders through networking opportunities, bespoke programming and marketing platforms.

We actively promote trade and investment and support those who make the transatlantic corridor part of their business growth ambition.

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