Thousands of skilled IT workers have had their UK visa applications rejected due to the immigration cap enforced by the British government.
According to new figures obtained by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), more than 6,000 tier 2 work permit applications were rejected between December 2017 and March 2018 as a result of the 20,700 annual cap on visas.
However, critics argue the cap disproportionately affects the IT and science industries due to the face that tier 2 work permits are used for the majority of science and tech jobs that require hiring from outside the country.
Statistics suggest that a total of 6,080 tier 2 work permit applications were refused during this period. Specifically, 36 per cent of applications were refused in December, 47 per cent in January, 48 per cent in February and 59 per cent in March.
Commenting on the data, CaSE executive Sarah Main suggested that it highlights the scale of the visa issue within the IT and science industries, arguing that a solution must be found as soon as possible.
"Across the country, businesses and public services are being blocked at the last hurdle from recruiting the people they need. This leaves employers frustrated and the public poorly served."
Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Norman Lamb, added that the data suggests the UK is not interested in welcoming tech or science talent.
"We're going to roll up our sleeves now and set out our proposals for an immigration system that works for the science and innovation sector,” he said.