Global Visas

Global Visas

July 12, 2010 02:30 ET

UK Immigration Cap Policy Announced

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) - British Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans on 28th June to cap UK immigration from outside the United Kingdom. The plans consist of a short-term limit, and consultation as to how limits should be set going forward.

The new coalition government in the UK aims to reduce annual net UK immigration from 176,000 to "tens of thousands", although no specific figure has been given. A temporary limit has been set of 24,100 non-EU immigrants up until April 2011 to prevent a rush of applications before the permanent cap is introduced. 

While accepting the controversial limit, business leaders are concerned that employers are likely to be expected to pay for private health insurance for non-EU immigrants, and that limits will be set too low for some in-demand skills. Universities and colleges are also concerned as overseas students provide significant proportions of their revenues, effectively subsidising UK-based students. Opposition politicians are also pointing out that, while the government may limit non-EU UK immigration, its European Union treaty commitments prevent it from being able to limit immigration from the rest of the European Union.

The UK immigration cap will go some way towards limiting immigration from outside the EU, but it will undoubtedly limit the flexibility of firms to bring workers into the UK. Particularly hard-hit will be Indian IT companies, who typically bring workers into the UK for limited periods to work on projects. Indian concerns are such that the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, met with Prime Minister David Cameron to voice his concerns. US-based companies who use the UK as their European bases will also be hard-hit as they will find it more difficult to move workers into the country as freely as they were previously able to do. 

Immigration experts are also now raising concerns about the impact of countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia introducing protectionist immigration caps. Liam Clifford of Global Visas, the world's leading immigration company, says;

"All major economies are locking down their labour markets. This short sighted protectionist approach makes it difficult for local employers to secure the talent they need to remain competitive. The policy of capping skilled migrants is wrong and the fact is if there are no jobs skilled migrants will simply not come. Economies and countries must allow talent to move freely and compete for that talent in an open market. Locking your door is not the answer."

About Global Visas

Global Visas are a world leading authority on immigration and visas for private individuals and corporate clients, providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date visa and immigration advice available. Their offices around the world provide immigration and visa solutions for those travelling to America, South Africa, Australia, the UK and many other countries. Global Visas was founded in 1996 by a former immigration officer.

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