Immigration Cap

The Commons Home Affairs Committee say the proposed annual cap will cover fewer than 20% of long-term migrants to Britain, it will make little difference to overall immigration and may do serious damage to Britain's knowledge economy.
The Commons Home Affairs Committee say the proposed annual cap will cover fewer than 20% of long-term migrants to Britain, it will make little difference to overall immigration and may do serious damage to Britain's knowledge economy. Tim Finch, of the Institute of Public Policy Research, said the report blew huge holes in the idea of an annual cap: "The cap is a policy constructed to win an election, not to run an efficient immigration system."

And now that the election was won, the PM said in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry on Monday, that the government was rethinking how the cap on non-European Union migrants might work: “As we control our borders and bring immigration to a manageable level, we will not impede you from attracting the best talent from around the world." He also said employees of multinational companies will be exempt from the cap.

So it's a cap without a cap then...

Previously (22.10.10): Britain temporarily closed the door on highly skilled migrants from outside Europe tonight as the new cap on immigration was implemented.

The UKBA announced that it was issuing no more visas this month to as the new monthly limit of 600 for Tier 1 visas had already been reached. The agency added that it was still accepting applications from highly skilled migrants but no more visas would be issued until 1 November.

Earlier this month, the high court gave the go-ahead for a judicial review to challenge the home secretary's temporary cap on skilled workers (see below).

Previously (11.10.10): The Government's cap on immigration threatens the UK's position as a centre of scientific excellence, eight Nobel prize-winning academics warnED. The researches included Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, from the University of Manchester, who invented graphene, the world's thinnest material which is 200 times stronger than steel.

The scientists were awarded the Nobel prize for physics on Tuesday for their invention which is expected to revolutionise the production of everything from touch sensitive screens to aircraft and satellites.

In a letter to the Times, the academics wrote: "The Government has seen fit to introduce an exception to the rules for Premier League footballers. It is a sad reflection of our priorities as a nation if we cannot afford the same recognition for elite scientists and engineers." Speaking to The Times, Prof Novoselov said that he may have decided to work elsewhere had there been a delay with his visa.

While the BBC reported on research undertaken for them by the Migration Policy Institute that it is foreign workers in developed nations are more likely to be jobless than their native-born counterparts. This is partly because migrants tend to work in areas of the economy that are more vulnerable to recession. The report goes on to say that it has caaused a notable decline in illegal immigration, those caught trying to enter the EU illegally by sea fell by more than 40%.

PREVIOUSLY (30.09.10): The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is applying for permission to judicially review the government’s immigration cap because (i) it was put in place without consultation and (ii) the level of the limit was not put forward in Parliament. Immigration Minister, Green, said that they will rigorously defend this challenge.

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, voiced concerns at the Liberal Democrat conference last week. In fact, the City backs business secretary Vince Cable after he said an inflexible cap on immigration is damaging UK firms. But its not just businesses that are concerned with the immigration cap as it is also restricting local Councils from recruiting much needed staff, including social workers.

PREVIOUS BLOG (29.06.10): From April 2011, the government will introduce an annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system. The points will also be increased from 95 to 100.

An interim limit will be introduced from 19 July 2010 until the long-term limit is introduced in April 2011. This limit will apply to the number of certificates of sponsorship that an employer can issue (inter-company transfers, sportsperson and ministers of regions excluded) and Tier 1 applicants (investors, entrepreneurs and post-study work excluded).

Applications will be dealt with on a first-come, first served basis and each month has a set limit. If your application is received after that limit is reached, it will be considered under the limit for the following month.

You will be excluded from the limit if you are already in the UK under Tier 1 (General) and you apply for an extension, or if you are already in the UK under another immigration category and you switch into Tier 1 (General).

You will not have to meet the increased points mark if you are already in the UK in one of the following categories:

•Tier 1 (General)
•Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
•Writer, composer or artist
•Self-employed lawyer

If you are in the UK in any other immigration category and you apply to switch into Tier 1 (General), or if you are applying from outside the UK, you will need to score 100 points.

The monthly limits will be published on the UKBA website, click here for the page.

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