05 October 2010

Minister defends interim UK Visa cap

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In response to concerns raised by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK Immigration Minister, Damian Green has defended the government's decision to introduce an interim UK Visa Cap.

UK Visa

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has defended the UK Visa cap, saying in the vast majority of cases it is unfair to blame the limits for recruitment difficulties.

Mr Green said the interim UK Visa cap was introduced to prevent a rush of last minute applications ahead of the permanent annual limits being introduced in April next year.

The interim limits apply to all new applicants under Tier 1 (General), except for extension applications and in-country applications. Applications under Tier 2 (General) are limited by the number of Employer Sponsorship Licences that are issued.

John Cridland, Deputy Director-General of the CBI, said recently, “as the economy gears up for growth, the UK must demonstrate that it is open for business. Companies must be able to access the best and brightest talent from around the world”.

The CBI told the government that interim arrangements brought in have “caused serious problems" for business. Skilled migrants with a job offer should be prioritised as they are able to contribute taxes, and the ability of companies to transfer staff from one country to another increases the attractiveness of Britain as a global location for investment, the CBI argues.

Damian Green, said the UK Border Agency has been working very closely with businesses to ensure that these visa arrangements have been implemented effectively.

“The ability of employers to fill vacancies is affected by a wide range of factors including their own training policies, pay and conditions and corporate reputation. In the vast majority of cases it is unfair to blame our limits for recruitment difficulties.

“We have consulted with business and other interested parties on how the limit should work and have also asked the Migration Advisory Committee to consult on what the actual limit should be. These consultations are now closed and we will announce the findings in due course.”

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.

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