28th July 2010


 Issue No.  2010/17




 Immigration limits - (Non-EU Migrants)

What does this mean for you? And what has this got to do with HR or employment you may ask.
Putting it simply – if you are currently filling skill shortages with overseas non-EU nationals you need to act fast.
Businesses preparing applications now should act fast to ensure that they do not fall foul of the new quotas.  Now the Interim Limit is in force, applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and if the limit is reached, the application may not be considered due to the Interim Limit rules.  Applications will then be held in a queue, in strict order of their date of application, pending the implementation of a Permanent Limit in April 2011.
Why is this – well the following (if a touch tedious) background will fill in a few gaps.
From April 2011, the Government will introduce an annual limit on applications of non-EU migrants admitted to work in the UK. The Government has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”), as an independent expert body on migration, to provide advice on what the limit to permanent economic migration should be. The MAC has now launched a consultation on the annual limit of the number of non-EU migrants admitted to work in the UK through Tiers 1 and 2 of the points based system.
The consultation will be open for submissions until 7 September 2010, and the MAC advice will be presented to the Government by the end of September. A paper setting out the consultation questions and procedures for submitting evidence has been published and details are available on the UK Borders Agency Website.
Interim Measures
Theresa May (Home Secretary) said: “While we [the Government] consult on our tough new limit it’s important we have an interim measure to avoid a “closing down sale” for migrants and ensure that the number of work visas issued stays below 2009 levels.”
Consequently, Interim Limits have been introduced from 19 July 2010 which are as follows:
New Tier 1 (General)
Visas granted outside the UK for the most highly skilled individuals will be capped at 5,400 for the period July 2010 to March 2011. (Tier 1 routes for investors, entrepreneurs and recent graduates are excluded from the quota).
With new quotas comes a tightening of the Tier 1 points test, with 100 points required for a pass, rather than 95.
New Tier 2 (General)
Visas granted outside the UK for skilled individuals who are sponsored by a licensed UK employer will be capped at 18,700 for the period July 2010 to March 2011.  (Tier 2 intra-company transfers, ministers of religion and elite sportspeople are excluded from the quota as are Applications made by migrants already in the UK (other than visiting).




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Making sense of it all

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