UK to remove immigration cap for high earning migrants

High-earning migrant workers from outside the EU will be excluded from the Government’s immigration cap, Home Office minister Damian Green has said.

Bankers, lawyers and anyone else earning more than £150,000 will be allowed in over and above a monthly limit on skilled workers which will be introduced in April, the immigration minister said.

Scientists will also be moved towards the front of the queue in a system designed to favour scientific researchers, high earners and those with jobs where there is a shortage of UK staff, Mr Green said.

Chemists, biochemists, physicists, geologists and research and development managers will all be among those given a “significant advantage”, he said.

But Mr Green said the new rules will only apply to new applicants and not to those already in the UK.

He insisted the exception for high-earners would only affect a small number of migrants, adding that officials were writing to businesses to assess the level of demand.

Mr Green also announced that any migrants wanting to settle in the UK would have to be clear of any criminal convictions.

“If you’re here and you want to settle and you commit a criminal offence, you won’t be able to,” Mr Green said.

Outlining the plans to limit the number of skilled workers coming to the UK from outside the EU each year to 20,700, Mr Green said: “Britain needs to attract the brightest and the best to fill jobs gaps but this should never be at the expense of workers already here … Employers should look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country.”

The annual limit, designed to help the Government fulfil its pledge to cut net migration from about 200,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015, will be split into monthly allocations. A total of 4,200 will be available for the first month in April, with 1,500 each month after that.

Source: Press Association

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