Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tier 1 (General) to close overseas and new interim limit set for Tier 2 (General)

21 December 2010

The UK Border Agency has announced that it will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas from 00:01 on 23 December 2010. This is to ensure that we do not exceed the limit set by the government for issued Tier 1 (General) applications between 19 July 2010 and April 2011.

Tier 1 (General) overseas will not reopen for applications. Tier 1 (General) in the UK will remain open until 5 April 2011. There will be transitional arrangements beyond 6 April 2011 for some applicants who are already in the UK, and we will announce details of these in due course.

Following a court judgement on Friday, the government has also set a limit until 5 April 2011 on the number of certificates of sponsorship that are available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors under Tier 2 (General). The level of the limit will be 10,832, and the changes will take place immediately.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:

'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 judgment 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.

'As a result of the volume of applications received since the interim limit was introduced last July, no more Tier 1 visa applications from overseas will be accepted after 22 December.

'The government remains firmly committed to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands.'

The changes are set out in a new Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 698).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UK Immigration Cap Lifted : UK Court Verdict

An interim cap introduced last summer has been deemed unlawful by the UK High Court; High Court Judges have ruled that ministers needed parliamentary approval before going ahead with the temporary immigration.

As a result, the temporary immigration cap is no longer in force. If you wish to apply for a tier 1 visa or tier 2 visa you should apply as soon as possible. Ministers can introduce a new cap when Parliament returns in January. MPs and Peers would then have an opportunity to oppose the immigration cap within 40 days.

Latest news•20 December 2010 Indians benefit; UK immigration cap declared unlawful
•15 December 2010 New UK student visitor visa coming in 2011
•14 December 2010 Tier 1 visa applications from within the UK - Apply before April 2011
Ministers introduced the temporary cap -- set at 24,100 a year -- last summer as an attempt to reduce net immigration into the UK. The cap was challenged by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and the English Community Care Association.

Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr. Justice Burton found that the home secretary had not gone through proper channels when implementing the cap; The proposals should have been put to a vote in Parliament.

"There can be no doubt that [Theresa May] was attempting to side-step provisions for Parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act and her attempt was for that reason unlawful," they stated.

Because of this, the High Court ruled that no limits were to be in place for Tiers 1 and 2 of the points based immigration system.

The English Community Care Association said the cap was implemented without regard for how it would affect care providers. Vacancies could not be filled by British staff. There is insufficient demand for these jobs among the UK Citizens and residents.

The immigration cap has been highly controversial, even within the UK Government. The Lib Dems the junior Coalition partner has called for the cap to be more flexible so that UK companies can hire the highly skilled staff they need from abroad.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Western Australia Demands Skilled Workers

The Western Australian government is trying its best to attract overseas skilled workers in an attempt to deal with labour shortages in its mining sector.

Western Australian Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier announced a WA workforce development plan to address these issues. One of the problems is finding skilled labour for the expected $220 billion worth of natural resource-related projects.

Latest news18 December 2010 Australia to simplify temporary work visas
17 December 2010 Australia to help student immigration sector
07 December 2010 Australian mining industry continues to push for more immigration
According to Collier, the increasing population and aging workforce will cause a gap of about 150,000 workers in Western Australia in the next seven years. Bringing in skilled migrants into Australia will help Western Australia deal with skills shortages in the labour market.

"Training and preparing West Australians for the workforce is our number one priority," said Collier. "However, targeted migration will be an important strategy in filling those high value vacancies unable to be filled by the local workforce."

The government of WA has signed an agreement with the Australian federal government which will allow the state to sponsor 6000 visa applications under the regional sponsored category of the General Skilled Migration program.

The General Skilled Migration program is Australia's points based immigration system which allows skilled workers to gain permanent residence in Australia with or without a job offer from an Australian employer.

Some visa categories under this program allow state or regional governments in Australia to sponsor a visa applicant.

The General Skilled Migration Program has been very successful for Australia and has influenced immigration systems in other countries such as the UK.