MPs are looking again at the regulations around skilled workers from non-EU countries entering the UK, after the monthly limit was breached.
The Home Affairs Committee has started an inquiry to find out how the cap on people entering the UK on a Tier 2 visa is affecting employers with skills shortages.
Committee chairman, Keith Vaz, said: “Reaching the cap limit for the first time last month sparked concerns of skills shortages across the health and care sectors, and among business leaders. It is totally unfair that only those with the highest salaries are granted visas once the cap is reached.”
He said that the situation could cause problems for small businesses and other sectors that require talent from overseas, and could have repercussions on the economy in the longer term.
Mr Vaz added: “The committee hopes to gain an insight into whether the current system is the best way to achieve the twin aims of controlled immigration that can maintain the level of skilled workers essential to providing the services we all rely on and enjoy.”
Currently, only 20,700 non-EU skilled workers can come to the UK on a Tier 2 visa annually.
The route is restricted to sectors where the Government has identified skills shortages, such as doctors, engineers, teachers and technology staff.
The Government is looking to further limit the numbers of skilled staff able to use this route into the UK and the Migration Advisory Committee is examining methods of bringing the numbers down.
This includes hiking the minimum salary for skilled workers from abroad, which would put necessary staff out of the reach of many businesses, including start-ups.
The health sector and digital sector have both raised concerns about the effects on their industries if the minimum salary requirement is increased.