• United Kingdom: UK to Introduce a Cap on the Number of Foreign Workers Admitted Each Year
  • July 23, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The United Kingdom will soon begin limiting the number of foreign workers it admits each year, starting with a temporary cap that will be in effect from July 19, 2010 through April 1, 2011 and heightened requirements for the Tier 1 (General) category. The temporary cap will be followed by a permanent cap system, which the UK government will develop over the next twelve weeks in consultation with immigration stakeholders and the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the UK government’s independent advisor on migration issues.

    Temporary Cap and Other Limits

    Under the temporary cap, the number of self-sponsored Tier 1 (General) migrants applying from outside of the UK will be capped at 5,400. This is the same number of successful Tier 1 (General) applicants from 2009. In-country Tier 1 (General) applicants will not be affected by the temporary cap. The number of employer-sponsored new hires in Tier 2 (General) will be capped at 18,700, which represents a five percent reduction compared to the number of successful applications from 2009. Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) applications will not be capped under the temporary measures. Any Tier 1 (General) or Tier 2 (General) application that is denied solely because of the temporary cap will be automatically reconsidered under the permanent cap system after April 1, 2011.

    In addition to the cap, the UK government is temporarily raising the number of points needed to qualify for Tier 1 (General) by five, from 95 to 100. Applicants with salaries of more than £150,000 in the last twelve months can still qualify on the basis of their salary alone because the points awarded for salary will increase by five points.

    Permanent Cap in Development

    The permanent cap system will be developed over the next twelve weeks, during which the UK government will consult with the business community and other immigration stakeholders, and the Migration Advisory Committee will prepare a report. The MAC will take into account the social and economic impacts of immigration to the UK and suggest migration levels for the imposition of permanent caps. Fragomen London has been asked to participate in the consultations and is collaborating with the government to prepare a survey on the potential impact of caps on economic recovery.

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