November 23, 2010

The UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, made a key speech today setting out the UK government’s policy on the UK immigration caps.

As our readers will know, an annual limit, or cap, on immigration to the UK was first announced back in June.

An interim cap was introduced on 19 July, which will remain in place until 31 March 2011.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the independent advisory body on migration to the UK government, published its report on proposed limits to Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System last week, 18 November 2010.

The Home Secretary’s speech today was a response to the MAC report and a statement of government policy.

Key Messages

The key messages in today’s announcement are as follows:

  • The Tier 1 (General) category will be closed
  • The Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and Investors routes will remain but amended to make these routes more straightforward and attractive to overseas business people
  • A new Tier 1 Exceptional Skilled category will be introduced aimed at elite scientists, researchers, artists and people of significant talent, but this will be capped at 1000 per year
  • The Tier 2 category will be capped at 20,700 per year which will be reviewed on a yearly basis by the Migration Advisory Committee
  • The Intra-Company Transfer route within Tier 2 will be exempt from the cap provided that the jobs are at graduate level and the salary is over £40,000GBP (as with current arrangements this could include certain allowances)
  • The Government will look at other UK immigration categories including student and family routes, and will also look to restrict routes to obtaining permanent residence in the UK.  Consultations on these issues will be launched shortly.

No other details are yet known, but we will keep you updated as and when further information becomes available.


No changes will be made until 1 April 2011; Pro-Link GLOBAL will be monitoring the situation and will keep you informed.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.  Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in the UK to provide you this update.