Radical reform to UK immigration system underway, claims Green

19 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK immigration minister Damian Green has responded to a report on the UK visa system from the Committee of Public Accounts.

One of the main issues flagged up by the report was the UK Border Agency's lack of control in regards to monitoring people remaining in the country after the expiration of their UK Visa.

There are an estimated 181,000 workers thought to be in the country with an expired UK visa, although the agency is unable to come up with a confirmed figure.

The report also highlighted concerns over the exclusion from the UK visa cap of Tier 2 work permits obtained through intra-company transfers (ICTs).

Responding to these issues, Mr Green stated that the report highlighted "exactly why the government is making radical changes to the immigration system".

He added: "This government has already introduced an annual limit on economic migrants, including a significant tightening of the ICT rules, and sweeping changes to the student visa system.

"Later this year we will propose a shake-up of the family and settlement route."

Meanwhile, the UK immigration minister reminded businesses that the government is working to make it harder for people to live in the UK illegally by "taking action against employers that flout our rules".

"Any employers found to be abusing our immigration system risk losing their licence to sponsor any migrant workers," he explained.