21 December 2010

Introduction of UK Visa cap deemed unlawful by High Court

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The temporary cap on the number of skilled workers from outside the EU allowed into the UK was introduced "unlawfully", the High Court has ruled.

UK immigration

The UK Visa cap is no longer in effect after the High Court ruling on Friday.

The UK Visa cap was introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May this summer as an interim measure ahead of a permanent cap, which will come into effect in April 2011.

A legal challenge by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and English Community Care Association, which was concerned over the position of immigrant care workers, was upheld with High Court judges ruling that ministers had sidestepped Parliamentary scrutiny.

The ruling has nullified the current temporary cap, meaning it is no longer in force; however ministers can introduce a new cap when Parliament returns in January.

In Friday's ruling, Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr Justice Burton said that the home secretary had not gone through the proper parliamentary procedures before implementing the cap on UK Immigration.

"The secretary of state made no secret of her intentions," they stated.

"There can be no doubt that she was attempting to side-step provisions for Parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act and her attempt was for that reason unlawful."

As a result, it said no lawful limits were now in place for two tiers of job applicants from abroad. 


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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