Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visa for UK getting tuffer | UK Visa restriction

We always have a notion that UK is conservative in approach specially when it comes to outsourcing as compared to US. It is again proven now by their move to reduce the number of visa for skilled labors.

UKs coalition government on Tuesday unveiled the critical number of a cap for skilled and highly-skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) at 21,700 for next year,lower than the 43,000 limit suggested by the UK governments migration advisory committee.The figure is a cut of 6,300 on the equivalent figure for 2009.The maximum cut will be on tier 1,or highly-skilled immigrants looking for a job let in on a points based system,which will include a 1000 for exceptional people like sportsmen,artistes and scientists.

This category has traditionally been widely used by doctors and other highly-skilled professionals to enter the UK.The somewhat good news for business is that intracompany transfers for employees on salaries above GBP 40,000 per annum is exempt from any cap,plus one staff member for ICT at a salary level of above GBP 24,000.Tier 2 visas,meant for people with job offers in hand,what used to be the work permit visa,will also rise by 7,000.

Indian IT companies have been at the receiving end of accusations about misuse of the intra-company transfer route after it was revealed that the maximum number of intra-company transfers went to them last year.However,Indian IT companies are likely to be hit as the limit is for all non-European overseas workers and they are unlikely to be able to hog the lions share of available visas.The UK system will now be closer to the American visa system of limited H1B visas issued every year.The rationale for reducing the number of work permit visas and tier 1 visas is that an estimated 22,000 people used the intra-company transfer route last year and the numbers together add up to the recommended level of 43,000.

David Camerons coalition government finally came out with the numbers after weeks of tension with business leaders and the Torys LibDem partners.The promise to cut immigration to tens of thousands was a key plank of the Conservative election campaign but plans to cut skilled overseas workers alone ran into massive headwinds with almost the entire domestic and business community up in arms,saying that economic recovery could be seriously hampered without access to global talent.LibDems business secretary Vince Cable openly led the argument in the cabinet,saying his ministry is opposed to any caps that inhibit businesses.

Home secretary Theresa May also laid the way for further limits on undergraduate students and families of immigrants.The MAC had recommended that the number of foreign students coming into UK needs to be cut by more than 80,000 to meet the governments targets.