Tier 2 (General) work permit limits have been implemented again today (Tuesday, December 21st) following changes to the legal requirements.
Imposed as an interim measure before full changes come into effect next year, the limit will apply from today through to April 5th 2011. This means that during these months 10,832 Tier 2 work permits can be processed.
The announcement follows a court judgement issued last week (December 17th), which resulted in the temporary removal of the limits while legal issues were cleared up. The court had decided that interim cap was illegal and in order for the policy to have legal effect, the level of the limit must be specified in the Immigration Rules.
Following the decision, UK immigration minister Damian Green said that the coalition remains "firmly committed to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands".
He added: "This ruling is about process, not policy - the policy of having a limit has not been found to be unlawful. The court's ruling rests on a technicality, which we have set right today to ensure that from now on the interim limit is back up and running.
"This judgement does not affect the annual cap in any way. The interim limit was a temporary measure introduced specifically to tackle a rush of applications ahead of the introduction of the annual limit." At the moment, any existing allocations of Tier 2 work permits and Certificates of Sponsorship will remain "unaffected by this change".
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas from December 23rd, due to the fact that the route will be closed permanently from April 2011 and the UKBA is keen to prevent the application limit from being exceeded.