UK announces migration cap of 21,700
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, Nov 23: The Britsh government today announced a cap of 21,700 on the number of skilled workers from India and other countries outside the European Union from April 2011, a move likely to adversely impact Indian professionals seeking to move to the UK.
The figure is a cut of 6,300 on the equivalent figure for 2009.
Once the figure of 21,700 is reached, it is envisaged that no further employment visas will be granted during the year.
The cap excludes employees transferred by their companies from another country. The Inter-Company Transfer visa route is mostly used by Indian companies.
Such employees will be allowed to stay for up to five years if their annual salary exceeds 40,000 pounds, Home secretary Theresa May announced.
Announcing the cap, May said the number of "tier one" people - highly-skilled workers looking for a job - will be cut by 13,000 to 1,000 plus "exceptional people" including sports stars and scientists.
The number of tier two workers - those who already have job offers - will rise by 7,000.
May said the system of trying to attract the brightest and the best had not worked.
"At least 30 per cent of tier one migrants work in low-skilled occupations such as stacking shelves, driving taxis or working as security guards and some don't have a job at all," the Home Secretary added.
Overall, the number of people allowed to come and work in the UK from outside the EU will be cut from around 196,000 to the "tens of thousands", May explained.
"We will have to take action across all routes to entry - work visas, student visas, family visas - and break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement," she told MPs.
Labour's shadow home secretary, Ed Balls, responded to the announcement by saying the Government was in "retreat".
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to halve net immigration to the UK so it is in the "tens of thousands".
In September, May announced an interim cap, limiting the number of non-EU workers allowed into the UK to 24,100 up to to April 2011.
Buffeted by major funding cuts and looming cuts in the number of high-fee paying students from India and other non-EU countries, UK universities have lodged a strong protest against moves that are likely to seriously jeopardise their finances and global reputation.
Many universities depend on income from international students to meet their costs.
The cut in student visas is prompted by the David Cameron's government intention to reduce immigration into Britain, and reports of large scale abuse of the student visas in the Indian sub-continent.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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