Net Immigration to the UK Increases to 215,000
Recently the Home Office’s quarterly Immigration figures revealed that net Immigration to the United Kingdom increased to 215,000 in the year to March 2010, a unexpected increase which was put down to a 10 year low in the number of British Citizens leaving the UK. The increase made it harder than ever for the Coalition Government to achieve its General Election pledge of reducing net Immigration to ‘tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands’.
The figures on net migration show that 580,000 people came to work or study in the UK for more than a year in the 12 months to March 2010, while 364,000 moved abroad in the same period, leaving a rounded net migration figure of 215,000. The figures also show that:
- The number of migrants coming to Britain from outside the European Union remained virtually unchanged last year at 303,000
- 56,000 people headed to the United States and Australia last year, making them the most popular destinations
- Less Poles returned home with figures falling from 50,000 in 2007 to 24,000 last year
At the time Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said that \”The annual limit that we announced this week will ensure we continue to attract the brightest and the best while we reduce economic migration by more than a fifth compared with last year. We will shortly be launching a consultation on student visas, so as with economic migration we refocus on the areas which add the greatest value, protecting our world class universities.\”
Following the announcement the Coallition Government announced changes to the Immigration system to take affect from April next year. The plans include:
- Tier 1 General: The ‘General’ subcategory of Tier 1 will be closed all together
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur): The ‘Entrepreneur’ sub category of Tier 1 will be reformed to make it more attractive to international Entrepreneurs. Promising start up companies which do not meet the investment threshold will be offered an route to doing business in the UK. This Immigration route will not be subject to the Permanent Immigration Cap
- Tier 1 (Investor): The ‘Investor’ subcategory will be reformed to offer an ‘accelerated route to settlement, depending on the level of investment’. This Immigration route will not be subject to the Permanent Immigration Cap
- A new route for Persons of Exceptional Talent: A new Immigration route will be introduced for persons of exceptional talent (the old HSMP route used to include points for such people). This category will be limited to 1,000 places and will be for those migrants who have ‘won international recognition in scientific and cultural fields, or who show sufficient exceptional promise to be awarded such recognition in the future’. Migrants applying under this category will need to be endorsed by a competent body in the relevant field.
- Tier 2 (General): The ‘General’ subcategory of Tier 2 (formerly Business and Commercial Work Permits) will be subjected to a limit of 20,700 places for 2011 / 2012. Fortunately due to pressure from UK Business groups the Tier 2 General subcategory has not encountered such severe changes.
- The Permanent Immigration Cap Limit (which will be administered on a month by month basis) will not include:
- In-country applications from those already in the United Kingdom
- Dependents of Tier 2 Migrants
- Tier 2 (General) applicants who are filling a vacancy with a salary of more than £150,00
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) applicants – Premier League footballers have of course been left outside the Immigration Cap otherwise there truly would be uproar
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion) applicants
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) applicants
- Established Staff under the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) subcategory will be able to stay in the UK for up to 5 years if they are paid more than £40,000 per year; those paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be able to enter for up to 12 months within a specified period
- Only those positions considered to be graduate level vacancies will be allowed under the new provisions of Tier 2 General. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will shortly advise what are to be considered graduate-level jobs, and we will amend the shortage occupation list accordingly
- Existing Tier 2 (General) migrants in jobs below graduate level will be able to extend their permission to stay if they meet current requirements
- The English Language Requirement for Tier 2 (General) applicants will be increased from basic to intermediate level (B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference)
- Certificate of Sponsorship applications will be considered on a monthly basis. If the monthly allocation is oversubscribed, applications will be ranked according to:
- Shortage occupations in the first instance
- Whether the post requires higher academic qualifications; AND
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). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.
To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners