Annual immigration cap comes into force

Firms should look to hire unemployed Britons as the Government's annual immigration cap for workers from outside the EU comes into force today, Immigration Minister Damian Green said.

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, he said.

"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."

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, the Home Office said.

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 £24,000.

The Government will also bring in a 12-month "cooling-off" period before allowing any workers who leave the UK to return on another ICT.

Each application for a certificate of sponsorship - which firms will need to bring skilled migrants into the UK - will be ranked with the most points awarded for jobs on the shortage occupation list, those requiring a PhD and high earners.

If any month is oversubscribed, those with the most points will be granted permission to come to the UK, the Home Office said.

If demand exceeds the allocation by fewer than 100 in any month, those places will be taken from the following month. Any unused places will also be rolled over to the following month.

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 at least £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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine