05 June 2009

UK visa rules under question for telecommunications company

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A recent controversial case with a telecommunications company and UK visa rules has caused the UK Border Agency to investigate claims about recruiting cheaper off-shore labour, reports BBC News.

The telecommunications company says it has been using the UK visa rules to its advantage by using a sister company in India to source IT contractors, which cost half the hiring cost of local IT specialists in England.

The company says this process is called on-site, off-shoring and UK visa rules allow for companies to employ staff abroad if they are part of the same company.  If the workers are based in a non-EU country, then they need to apply for an intra-company UK visa in order to work in the UK. 

In March, David Metcalfe, chair of the Migrating Advisory Committee, said that he will be heading a review into the claims against the telecommunications company, if they are exploiting the intra-company UK visa route.

"The people coming in to do IT jobs are disproportionately coming in through the intra company transfer route and we will be having a proper look at that in our review," Professor Metcalfe said.

"If there were real elements of, for example displacement or undercutting, we will report on this."


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.


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