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Non-European workers entering UK to be regulated

- Pia Lee-Brago -

MANILA, Philippines - The number of non-European workers entering the United Kingdom will be strictly regulated, the British embassy said yesterday.

United Kingdom Home Secretary Theresa May recently announced a number of new measures to limit the number of workers outside Europe that can come to the UK to work.

In limiting the number of skilled non-EU workers, the UK Home Office is tightening the intra-company transfer route and restricting Tier One – the “highly skilled” tier – of the Points Based System (PBS) to all but entrepreneurs, investors and people of exceptional talent.

The introduction of an annual limit was a pledge of the UK Coalition Government and will allow Britain to remain competitive in the international jobs market, while ensuring migrant labor is not used as a substitute for those already looking for work in the UK.

To control those coming to the UK, the government has committed to the following:

•Introducing an annual 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;

• Raising to £40,000 the minimum salary for those coming through the intra-company transfer route for more than 12 months; restricting the highly skilled tier of the PBS to all but entrepreneurs, investors and the exceptionally talented; and

• Requiring occupations in Tier 2 to be at graduate level.

The United Kingdom was determined to make changes to Tier One when it was discovered that approximately a third of those coming through this route were actually doing low skilled jobs once they were in the UK.

Businesses have made it clear that their priority is to fill their specific vacancies through Tier Two (skilled worker category).

On Nov. 23, May said: “The announcement has set out a clear, rational approach to which workers we will allow into the UK job market.

“We have set out an approach which will not only get immigration down to sustainable levels but at the same time, protects those businesses and institutions which are vital to our economy.

“We will take action on all routes into the UK and these changes are crucial if we are to limit the numbers coming here to work, while still attracting the brightest and the best to the UK.

“We have worked closely with businesses while designing this system, and listened to their feedback, but we have also 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.”

The new rules will take affect from April 2011.

Applicants under Tier Two will still be required to apply for a visa with the UK Border Agency through the PBS.

Applicants must 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.

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.

However, the employees must be earning more than £40,000 to stay more than 12 months, and their stay will be restricted to five years.

The UK has vowed to reduce net migration and to achieve this goal, changes are being made across the immigration system – with the tightening of the economic routes just one part of a package of measures. 

 

BORDER AGENCY

COALITION GOVERNMENT

HOME OFFICE

ON NOV

POINTS BASED SYSTEM

SKILLED

TIER

TIER ONE

TIER TWO

UNITED KINGDOM

UNITED KINGDOM HOME SECRETARY THERESA MAY

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