UK Temporary Immigration Cap Rolled Out By Coalition Government

Tier 1 General – Formerly HSMP

The new Immigration Cap affects Tier 1 General of the Points Based System however other sub tiers of Tier 1 are unaffected (i.e. Tier 1 Post Study Work, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Investor). You will also be unaffected by the Immigration Cap if you are a dependent of a Tier 1 Visa applicant OR you are already in the UK on a visa status that allows you to ‘switch’ into Tier 1 General without leaving the UK. However, In-Country applicants are now required to score 100 points rather than the previous 95 points to qualify (75 points for attributes (qualifications, previous earnings, age, UK experience) + 10 mandatory points for English Language + 10 mandatory points for Maintenance).

Each month the UK Border Agency will only process applications up until the Immigration Cap is reached. Once the Immigration Cap has been reached no more applications will be processed in that month. If you submit an application and the cap is reached the UK Border Agency will consider your application the following month, under the following month’s quota.

Under the new system it is highly likely that applicants will need to wait much longer in order to gain an approval. If you are considering applying under Tier 1 General and you meet the new 100 point requirement you are advised to submit the application sooner rather than later.

Tier 2 General – Formerly UK Work Permit

The new temporary Immigration Cap will seriously affect a UK Tier 2 Licensed Company’s ability to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to prospective employees from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Under the new system each ‘A rated’ company will be able to issue a limited number of Certificates of Sponsorship per month. Once the limit is reached the company can issue no more CoSs. The UK Border Agency wrote to all license holders earlier in the month to inform them of the number of CoSs they can issue. The new limit will seriously affect newly licensed companies and those with a ‘B rated’ licenses in particular.

If you are a prospective Tier 2 visa applicant and you hold a valid CoS you will be able to submit your application as normal.

Business Community Reaction to the Immigration Cap

The Business community, and in particular the British Chamber of Commerce believe that the Immigration Cap could seriously affect Britain’s fragile economic recovery. Earlier in the month the Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce told Sky News “We need to be careful that at a time when we need to get all the growth we can in the UK economy that we remember the needs of British business. The City for example relies on a pool of global talent; specialist engineering companies working in the North Sea, those vital new science and innovation companies all rely on getting their employees from across the globe. We can’t stop that. We need to look at the whole picture and of course what is happening is, because many of the local employees don’t have the skills, don’t have the work ethic, then of course businesses are turning to Eastern European migrants and you can’t reform migration without reforming the benefits system. Too many companies report through to me that they offer the job to the local person but they say ‘It’s not worth it – I get more money on benefit’ and therefore immigration has got to be tackled hand and hand with welfare reform.”

At the time the former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, echoed the warnings of Mr Frost. In an Interview with Sky News he said that “The people we’re talking about here are the people the economy needs in order to grow in very difficult economic times, at best this is a gesture, at worst this is a deceit.”

The Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Kevin Green, has said that \”There were huge skills shortages before the recession and if the private sector is to grow rapidly out of recession, it will need skilled workers to do so.  An artificial cap on immigration will affect business growth and delivery of core services such as social care. Therefore, we need train up our young people to fill these gaps, but this will take time. We ask that the Government seriously considers the impact of preventing skilled workers coming into the country if the positions they are being recruited for cannot be filled locally.\”

The Manging Director of Hays Health & Social Care, Mr Faraguna, has also said that “Despite the high unemployment levels in the UK, we are still struggling to recruit certain skills and are faced with an ageing workforce so would not recommend a blanket approach to immigration. Skill shortages are prevalent in a number of areas of social care and affect many healthcare disciplines. For example, the current and forward requirements from our clients indicate there is a global shortage of specialist doctors that Europe alone cannot address and hospitals benefit from the use of specialist consultants from overseas. Recruiting from overseas allows us to recruit the right skills in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of employers nationwide – we aren’t at a stage where they are self-sufficient.”

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.