22 September 2010

Business Secretary ‘optimistic’ of change to UK Visa cap

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Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has said “constructive discussions” are taking place between his Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Home Office over relaxations to the controversial temporary UK Visa cap.

UK Visa

The Business Secretary has said he is optimistic of changes to the UK Visa cap limits, which will allow businesses to access needed skilled migrants.

A temporary cap on non-EU immigration was put in place by the Coalition Government to stop a rush of UK Visa applications ahead of a permanent cap that will be decided later this 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.

Many companies have complained that they have been given an arbitrary quota that does not reflect their needs, particularly as the temporary cap numbers are based on the demand for international employees in 2009 – the depth of the recession.

Earlier this month, Mr Cabel expressed his concerns about the UK Visa cap saying it is costing Britian thousands of jobs and hurting its economic recovery.

Mr Cable this morning told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are now moving on to constructive discussions with the Home Office in terms of how we have a system which is flexible.

“We’re having discussions and I’m optimistic that we shall get a flexible system that serves the interests of the British economy.”

Mr Cable said he still backs the Coalition policy of longer-term visas caps, although in the future there may be specific UK immigration exemptions rather than a change in the published cap.

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

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