17 May 2011

Concern over UK visa arrivals entering via Intra-Company Transfer

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Concern has been expressed by the Public Accounts Committee over the alleged "lack of control" that UK immigration has over Indian and other non-EU workers arriving in the UK via the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) UK visa pathway.

UK Visa

Concern has been expressed over the alleged "lack of control" that UK immigration has over Intra-Company Transfer arrivals.

The Intra-Company Transfer pathway is routinely used by Indian IT companies to transfer staff from India to UK offices. As this UK visa pathway is not subject to the annual cap on the number of non-EU immigrants arriving in the UK, it is understood that many thousands of IT workers have arrived in the UK via this route.

Speaking on the issue, Margaret Hodge, the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee said: "Most workers enter through this route and, for instance, tens of thousands of IT workers have been brought in through intra-company transfers at a time when UK residents with IT skills are struggling to find work.

"Some two-thirds of the migrants using this route work in IT, and are potentially displacing resident workers with IT skills.

"The Home Office has now set a minimum salary requirement for this route of £40,000 (and £24,000 for those in the UK for less than a year), to better protect the interests of resident workers."

In its latest report, the Public Accounts Committee has said that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) was "not doing enough to protect resident workers and ensure that migrant workers and sponsoring employers comply with immigration rules".

It also criticised the UKBA for not monitoring that migrants left the UK when their visas ran out, saying that they estimate there "may be 181,000 migrants still in the UK whose permission to remain has expired since December 2008".

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