The UK government will slap a limit on the number of migrants from outside of the European Union from April 2011 and introduce an interim cap on 19 July 2010.
The Home Office this week issued the following announcement regarding the annual limit on non-EU migration:
From April 2011, the government will introduce an annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system.
An interim limit will be introduced from 19 July 2010 until the long-term limit is introduced in April 2011. The interim limit will apply only to the number of certificates of sponsorship that an employer can issue. Applications from migrants will continue to be assessed as normal.
The Intra company transfer, Sportsperson and Minister of religion categories of Tier 2 will not be included in the interim limit.
What is the interim limit?
From 19 July 2010, we will introduce a limit on the number of certificates of sponsorship that each sponsor can assign to migrant workers under Tier 2 (General).
Sponsors may request additional certificates of sponsorship, using the sponsorship management system, while the interim limit is in operation. However, we will only approve these requests in exceptional circumstances; the sponsor will need to show that it has used all its certificates of sponsorship and has a pressing need to issue further certificates of sponsorship.
Details of our criteria for assessing requests will be set out in updated sponsor guidance, which will be published on 19 July. We will give priority to certificates of sponsorship required for extension applications and shortage occupations
A number of certificates of sponsorship will be set aside for new sponsor licence holders.
Applicants who are in the UK in another immigration category and wish to switch into Tier 2 (General) will be included in the limit.
More information about the interim limit will be published on this page in due course.
What will happen to my application if the limit is reached?
A migrant must have a valid certificate of sponsorship to make a Tier 2 application. If you have a valid certificate of sponsorship, you are inside the limit and your application will be assessed as normal.
Source: Home Office
Government ministers such as the education secretary, Michael Gove, and the universities secretary, David Willetts, have privately warned last week that too rigid an immigration cap could hit Britain’s competitiveness and reputation among top overseas students. The business secretary, Vince Cable, voiced his concerns in public about a too-inflexible cap.
Home Secretary Theresa May has unveiled a consultation paper earlier this week outlining how the new annual limit for skilled migrants might work.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: