ITC UK visa route 'a concern'

17 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK visas and work permits acquired through the intra-company transfer (ITC) system are something of a concern.

This is according to a report from the Committee of Public Accounts, made available today (May 17th).

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, explained that the report shows concern over the lack of control of UK work permits issued through the ITC system.

"This allows multinational to transfer their workers to the UK and is not covered by the immigration cap," she explained.

Prime minister David Cameron oversaw the introduction of an annual cap of 20,700 on Tier 2 work permits.

However, ITC admissions were exempt from the limit. Ms Hodge suggested that this is having a negative impact on certain employment sectors.

"Most workers enter through this route and, for instance, tens of thousands of IT workers have been brought in through intra-company transfers at a time when UK residents with IT skills are struggling to find work," she explained.

The committee's review also found fault in the UK Border Agency's monitoring of migrant workers whose UK visas have expired.

An estimated 181,000 such workers remain in the UK with an expired UK visa but the agency is unable to confirm the figures.

In addition, the MP noted, the UKBA "can't even verify the figures and does not try to enforce the employer's duty to ensure that the people they bring in leave when they are required to do so".