23 November 2010
Government announces permanent level of UK Visa cap
The UK Government is expected to announce later today the UK Visa cap on the number of skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area allowed into the country.
A UK Visa cap of up to 43,700 was recommended by migration advisors last week.
It is expected that the number of people allowed into the country will be 43,000, but the limit will be lower than that to take into account intra-company transfers. It is believed the government's visa cap will not include employees transferred by their companies to the UK from another country if their salary is more than £40,000.
Home Secretary Theresa May is due to give the full details of the cap in a statement to MPs later today.
Last year 50,000 visas were issued for tier one (highly skilled) and tier two (skilled) workers from outside the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) by UK Immigration. Of those, 22,000 came on intra-company transfers.
Starting in the new year, ministers will produce proposals to reduce the number of family members who can join immigrants already living in the UK and the number of students allowed into the country for non-degree studies.
The Conservatives pledged to get immigration down from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands per year, but have faced strong lobbing from businesses who believe the changes will mean they are unable to employ the skilled workers they need in order to be competitive in the global market.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their UK immigration applications to the British High Commission.