Temporary UK work permit cap reinstated

20 Dec 2010 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The temporary quota for UK Tier 1 visas and Tier 2 work permits is to be reinstated following legal issues.

Announced in July, the interim cap is due to come back in to action this week (Tuesday, December 21st) following disputes last week, UK immigration minister Damian Green clarified.

Under the legislation, just over 24,000 migrants from outside of the European Union are permitted to enter the UK before April 2011 as skilled workers.

The limit was drawn up in order to prevent an influx of foreign workers ahead of the permanent UK immigration cap, which will cut Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permits to 21,700 a year.

However, last week, (December 17th) the interim measure was deemed unlawful by the High Court.

In a challenge bought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the English Community Care Association, home secretary Theresa May was found to have been "attempting to side-step provisions for Parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act and her attempt [to implement the temporary cap] was for that reason unlawful".

As such, there has been no UK immigration limit on Tier 1 highly skilled visas and Tier 2 UK work permits over the course of the weekend.

However, Mr Green stated that the interim cap would be reinstated on Tuesday, closing entry to the UK to skilled workers from outside the EU under the Tier 1 UK work permit route, because this limit has already been reached.

The minister added that he will outline the changes to be made to the interim cap in order to "reinstate the interim limits on a clear legal basis".

"I can reassure the House [of Commons] that the policy of using these limits as part of out overall policy of reducing net migration is unchanged," Mr Green noted.