Britain has introduced limits on the number of migrant workers from outside the EU who will be permitted a visa for work in the UK. The measures include:
- A limit of 21,700 for those coming into the UK under the skilled and highly skilled routes – 20,700 under the skilled route and 1,000 under the new ‘exceptional talent’ route;
- A £40,000 the minimum salary for those coming through the intra-company transfer route for more than 12 months;
- The highly skilled tier of the PBS will be restricted to all but entrepreneurs, investors and the exceptionally talented; and
- Occupations in Tier 2 must be at graduate level.
The new rules will take affect from April 2011. Applicants under Tier Two will still be required to apply for a visa from the UK Border Agency through the PBS, will have to be of graduate level, be sponsored by an employer and will be awarded points based on scarcity of skills and salary. However they will be competing against other applicants for a visa to enter the UK and in months when the limit is oversubscribed those with the most points will qualify for one of the certificates of sponsorship available each month.
Separately, businesses can bring in their own employees through the intra-company transfer route but they must be earning more than £40,000 to stay more than 12 months, and their stay will be restricted to five years.
The UK government is yet to announce its measures for reducing migration for families and students.