The interim UK immigration restriction has led to a large boost in applications for Intra-Company Transfers (ITC) – the only UK visas exempt from the cap. Home Office statistics disclosed a 35 per cent increase in ICT UK visa applications in the three months in view of the fact that the interim cap on employment-based visas was implemented in July. More than 8,100 non-EU workers came to the UK in the third quarter of this year, compared with 6,000 for the same era last year.
The release of the statistics has been met with state that companies are exploiting what they see as a “dodge” in the UK visa cap. Peter Skyte, of the trade union Unite, told The Telegraph: “It is a huge ambiguity. Our prediction has always been that the immigration restriction would be all smoke and mirrors.”
There are currently fears those ICT visas numbers may carry on to rise even after the permanent UK immigration cap is imposed in April subsequent year. The government just announced ICT UK visas will be exempt from the new UK immigration cap – a shift which media reports recommended was an effort to mollify the UK’s largest businesses. UK businesses have been foyer hard since the cap was introduced, warning that restricting their right of entry to skilled labor may force them to move operations overseas, harmful to the UK economy and joblessness rate.