The Scottish Government has called for a separate visa cap for Scotland.
08 December 2010
Scottish Government calls for separate UK Visa cap
The Scottish Government has warned that the tough new UK Visa caps will damage economic recovery in a join letter with business and industry leaders to the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green.
The joint letter has called for Scotland to be allowed to vary the level of immigration to meet its needs.
Scotland has a larger proportion of small businesses and a different labour market from other parts of the UK, and so a more flexible approach to be taken to the implementation of the annual UK Visa limit in Scotland, otherwise there will negative affects on Scottish businesses, labour market and economy.
The letter states: "A limit on net non-EEA (European economic area] migration to bring it to the level of 'tens of thousands a year' is likely to impede Scotland's economic recovery and distort that labour market."
The letter has been signed by Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors in Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses, as well as Universities Scotland, NHS Scotland, Cosla, STUC and Scottish Social Services Council.
The annual limit of 21,700 UK Visas, excluding internal company transfers, will affect the creative industries, energy, financial and public services, life sciences and tourism, the letter states.
The UK will introduce a permanent annual UK Visa cap on immigration in April next year as well as tightening up immigration rules that will result in a cut in work permits for workers from outside the EU.