Government Introduction of the Immigration Cap
The UK legal sector have recently complained about the new restrictions in UK immigration law. The changes to law have been well publicized and can be viewed by the public and all interested parties at the UK Border Agency’s website (see below). These laws and rules represent a continual and politically complex change. The laws have been in development since at least 2007. The UK Border Agency also offers a fresh perspective on these in that it has been in existence only since 2008. The new agency oversees all customs, migration and border issues related to the greater British public.
Why the Government Has Installed the Cap
The government has issued the “cap” as it pledged to do when it formed the new coalition government in 2010. In effect, when the old government was voted out of office, the new government made itself responsible in holding up its pledges. One of these pledges concerned immigration reform. Immigration reform might have been seen as a necessary evil due to the increase in the migrant worker population. The UK population is increasing and is expected to reach 70 million by calendar year 2030. It appears that the government has taken on the task of immigration reform as a means of population control.
Impact on UK Business and the Legal Sector
The impact of the new government regulations will have deep and lasting impact on the UK business and legal sectors. One reason for this is pure economics. The new standards set forth by the government require that the points needed by migrants be increased from some 80 to 95 points or so. Most of the points are assigned to the level of income for the migrant worker. In order to meet 80 points of the requirements, the highly skilled migrant worker must have an income of £150,000 or greater! This imposes a rather high salary requirement on the legal and other business sectors. If for example a migrant legal employee is offered a mere £25,000 to work in the sector – that means they will only be furnished with only 5 points in the new immigration system of rules.
Immigration is Vital to UK International Competitiveness
Immigration is of vital importance to the UK in order to maintain its international competitiveness. By attracting people from other countries and cultures the UK makes itself and internationally attractive place for business. The UK has language, cultural and pratical skills by the very nature of bring in foreign workers. Not many other countries in the world reflect the same mix of business and culture savvy as the UK. The legal sector is well within its right to see the immigration cap as bad for business and bad for the UK.
Other sectors that will feel the pinch include education. Those seeking an education in the country may find themselves limited to seeking it outside of the UK. As has been pointed out by the BBC news article (“A-Level Results 2010: A* Grade Boosts New Exams Record”), it is becoming very challenging to find even a position at a university. This may create a prejudice against the UK education and migration systems in the international community.
1) Highly Skilled Workers, Investors and Entrepreneurs – The UK Border Agency’s Web Page (Link: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/)
2) Immigration Limit for Tier 1 (General) Of The Points-Based System Web Page (Link: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsfragments/27-intro-limit-for-t1-pbs)
3) Media Information of the UK Border Agency (Link: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-and-updates/media-information/)
4) Immigration Law Web Page of the UK Border Agency (Link: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/)
5) ‘Immigration Cap Will “Strangle” City Law Firms, Chancery Warns’, Law Society Gazette, Monday, August 23, 2010 by James Dean (Link: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/immigration-cap-will-strangle-city-law-firms-chancery-lane-warns-0)
6) Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC-59, June 2010 (Link to pdf: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/statementsofchanges/2010/hc59.pdf?view=Binary)
7) EU: Policy, Internal Migrants, Migration News, July 2010, Volume 17 Number 3 (Link: http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=3617_0_4_0)
8) “A-Level Results 2010: A* Grade Boosts New Exams Record”. 19 August 2010, BBC News (Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11012369)