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Immigration

“London First is a powerful voice on the fiscal benefits that skilled migrants and international students bring to London’s economy. They understand the key issues, press for sensible solutions and are influential in making things happen”

Julia Onslow-Cole, Head of Immigration, PwC

London First advocates for immigration and border policies that enable the best and brightest to work and study in London, encourages high-spending tourists to visit and ensure that all visitors are made to feel welcome when arriving at our border controls.

Read more on London First’s Immigration objectives

London has long been a magnet for talent from all over the globe and we want the city to continue to be able to attract the best and brightest to work and live here. We will continue to resist any tightening of caps on the number of skilled migrants allowed to enter the UK and to lobby government to stop classifying students, who are here temporarily, as permament migrants.

Immigration cap

For the last two years London First has actively campaigned for the immigration cap to be more business-friendly and to be set at a level that allows businesses to employ the best talent, irrespective of their country of origin. London First secured a concession from Government to consult with business before new measures were introduced in April 2011.

In February 2012, we wrote to the Minister of State for Immigration, Damian Green MP, to make it clear that the Tier 2 immigration cap should not be lowered, and that intra-company transfers should not be restricted any further. The Government listened, announcing on 4 April 2012 that it will hold the current cap level at 20,700 for the next two years, and that there will be no further changes to the intra-company transfer (ICT) route. Read our press release.

This is a significant step forward. The immigration cap directly affects all businesses that transfer employees between countries, and the announcement will provide the stability needed for businesses to be better able to manage the composition of their future workforces.

Key features of the announcement:

  • Cap level for Tier 2 to remain as is (20,700) for the next two years (2012/13, 2013/14) – Government is departing from the current 12 month cycle for reviewing the limit in response to our concerns about frequent policy changes
  • ICT route unchanged – still exempt from cap and salary thresholds remain as they are
  • Some relaxation to the resident labour market test (where jobs paying Minimum skill level for Tier 2 migrants raised from NQF level 4 to level 6 with some exceptions

You can read the full Home Office paper here.

London First continues to press the Government to gather better data on both entrance and exit data for all migrants, so that any future policy changes are based on sound evidence.

Library

Download and read our publications on Immigration.

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