UK Visa holders may need to have private health insurance, the UK government has said.
29 June 2010
UK skilled workers may need private health care under new UK immigration rules
Employers wanting to bring into the UK skilled migrants may have to provide private health insurance to curb the burden on the NHS under new proposals by the UK government.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the planned annual UK visa cap on migrants will be based on economic need but also on the impact migrants have on public services.
The UK Visa cap will be introduced in April next year and the Government's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will now consult with the public and businesses on the level of the cap. A temporary cap will come in to effect on July 19 to prevent a rush of applications.
As well as providing health insurance, employers wanting foreign staff may also have to establish apprenticeship schemes to demonstrate they are working to up-skill British workers. Employers will also have to make more of an effort to source British workers for positions, even in occupations deemed to be in "national shortage".
Business leaders have warned that too strict rules on skilled workers will damage the economy and future growth.
However, Alan Johnson, the shadow home secretary, said: "The announcement today is much ado about very little and simply makes minor adjustments to the rigorous points-based immigration controls that Labour introduced. Only one in seven potential migrants would be subject to a cap."
The Home Secretary also confirmed that a review of UK Student Visa system will be on the agenda next.