Government Annual Immigration Cap
introduced on 6 April 2011:
The Government's Perspective and Critiques
Immigration Minister Damian Green said firms should look to hire unemployed Britons as the Government's annual immigration cap for workers from outside the EU comes into force on 6 April 2011.
Just 20,700 skilled workers from outside the EU will be allowed to come to the UK this year, with 4,200 places available this month, followed by 1,500 in each month after that.
The move is part of Government efforts to meet its pledge to cut net migration from 200,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015.
Mr Green said: "We have made clear that as the recovery continues, we need employers to look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country.”
"We are overhauling all routes of entry to tackle abuses, make the system more effective and bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands."
A further 1,000 exceptional talent visas will available for the "brightest and the best" contributors to science and the arts. "We are sending out a clear message - the UK remains open for business and we want those who have the most to offer to come and settle here."
The Home Office said that intra-company transfers (ICTs), used by firms to bring their own people into the UK for more than a year to do specific jobs, will be excluded from the cap, but a minimum salary of £40,000 is also being introduced. But firms will still be able to bring non-EU workers into the UK on ICTs for less than 12 months as long as they earn a minimum salary of £24,000.
All skilled workers from outside the EU will need a graduate-level job, as defined by the Migration Advisory Committee's list, speak an intermediate level of English, and earn a minimum salary of £20,000.
The measures are designed to stop non-EU migrants coming to the UK as skilled workers but working in fast food outlets, beauty salons and estate agents. Firms will need to have already advertised the job in the UK and failed to find a suitable candidate
Critiques of the new policy have also been written including this edited version from http://www.politics.co.uk : -
Many of us are reluctant to point out that prejudice still plays a part in the immigration debate. On 6 April 2011, the immigration cap was put into place. After years of promotion and planning, a policy that was once considered unthinkable and counter-productive has become official government policy. There are no howls of derision, because the only lobby with any weight campaigning for immigration is the business lobby, whose support most of us can do without.
But there should be howls of derision. There is a simple and plain truth about Britain today: it needs immigration. We have a rapidly aging population. The number of people aged over 65 has risen steadily over the last 25 years, as the population aged under 16 decreases. By 2034, 23% of the population will be over 65 compared to 18% under 16.
That's a big problem, because we'll have fewer people working and paying taxes to support people who are unable to work and pay taxes. To make things worse, the fastest population increase is among the very eldest - those aged 85 and older. The numbers of people over 85 have doubled since 1984 with advances in medical science; by 2034 it is projected to be 2.5 times larger; thats 3.5 million – 5% of the population.
This demographic timebomb means the immigration cap is going to cost the existing population money. The Institute for Public Policy Research predicted a shortfall in public finances to pay for our aging population would require a rise of up to 9p in income tax by 2036 as a result of the immigration cap.
But the real cost comes not in what we must pay but in what we lose. In 2006, immigration contributed a net £6 billion to the economy. You wouldn't have known that, given the last government report, by the Lords economic affairs committee, which insisted immigration was neutral economically. Its Chair, Tory Lord Wakeham, said it was "preposterous and irrelevant" to include the overall impact of gross domestic product (GDP) as a key measure. The Lords committee’s errors include the refusal to countenance the idea that immigration radically reduces the cost of public services.
The damage we do now will affect us immediately and in the future. Theresa May's decision to hand the UK Border Agency (UKBA) control over which jobs post-study non-EU students can take introduces bureaucracy to a system that has served us well over the years - attracting wealthy Chinese and Indian students, creating ambassadors for Britain in some of the most mobile and well-educated sectors of the world's population and inviting the smartest, cleverest people in the world to set up a business here in the UK.
Look to the Premier League for the prime example of what immigration can offer Britain: Once the European Court of Justice ruled in 1995 that restricting the free movement of football players contravened EU law, we never looked back. We are now recognised for the most beautiful, exciting, watchable football in the world. Fans in Asia change their sleeping patterns to follow it, villagers in Africa know where Sunderland is. It's international influence is invaluable.
Britain risks losing that dynamism if it continues down the political route towards arbitrary numbers, whether it be Cameron's obsession with "tens of thousands" or the media obsession with the British population reaching 70 million.
By being the kind of country which can encourage and accommodate talent from across the world, it increases our chances of becoming the world leader in business, arts, science, culture and sport.
Immigration problems have relatively simple answers. There is a good, valid concern that immigrants undercut domestic wages and labour standards. The solution is strong trade unions. Dubious European court rulings such as Viking and Laval, which allow EU state members to work in the UK for the pay level of their home country, must be defeated.
We are also uncomfortable seeing urban ghettos. We don't like it when people for example conduct forced marriages. The solution is easy; follow the law. This is the only civilised response.
Lurking beneath the veneer of respectability and civility in which immigration arguments are couched, there often lies an assumption about the good society, that it should be pure and unified, that it should look the same.
In a horrific turnaround, Gordon Brown's 'bigotgate' gaffe really turned the table on pro-immigration advocates. It made it politically impossible to even suggest that prejudice or bigotry were often at the heart of people's view of immigration. Unfortunately, it often is.
The sense of 'the other' is at the bottom of many anti-immigrant statements, and some of the prejudice that lurks in this country is truly staggering. We all know it, we have all heard it. It is visible that the editorial policy of several tabloids is either intended to or succeeds in separating our communities.
We should stop being afraid and make ourselves clear: Millions of people in this country are pro-immigration. On the other side, there is the sense that immigration and a multicultural, multicoloured Britain with its flavours and music, its carnivals and variety is positive. That’s the country I'm talking about. It's a Britain we should be proud of. But regardless of whether we are proud of it or not, it's here to stay. This should prove reassuring amid the deafening chorus of anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Full article found at: -
Another critique of the new policy can be found on The Guardian website: -