UK migrants cap may face legal challenge

The annual cap of 24,100 professionals from India and other non-European Union countries to be announced tomorrow will be open to challenge in the courts, an influential group representing professionals from India and other non-EU states said today.
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Updated on Jun 27, 2010 09:04 PM IST
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PTI | By, London

The annual cap of 24,100 professionals from India and other non-European Union countries to be announced tomorrow will be open to challenge in the courts, an influential group representing professionals from India and other non-EU states said today.

Home Secretary Theresa May is scheduled to announce the temporary cap to be implemented between now and April 2011 tomorrow.

It means that British employers will not be able to employ any Indian and other non-EU professionals once the limit of 24,100 is reached.

Amit Kapadia, director of Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum that fought a successful legal challenge against immigration rules, said the government's move to impose an "illogical" cap will be opposed.

"We don’t think that any sort of cap would work out. It would be unworkable. The effects remain to be seen, but if the government really tries to implement drastic measures it is going to cause a lot of unhappiness, especially among migrants who work hard and pay taxes," he told PTI.

"A consultation should take place with stakeholders to assess impact of such measures otherwise any such unsubstantiated measures with procedural defects will be reviewable in the courts," he added.

The cap will adversely affect Indian professionals because most non-European Union migrants to the UK come from India. Indians have been among the largest group of professionals recruited in the IT, medicine, education and services sector every year.

"Taking taking such drastic measures will affect UK businesses and in turn it will affect the economy. What we feel is there shouldn’t be any knee jerk reaction just to show that the government is tough on immigration," Kapadia said.

"The government needs to keep in mind the possible consequences which will be faced by employers due to such unfair measures,” he underlined.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for London mayor Boris Johnson also expressed opposition to the annual cap.

"A crude cap could be very detrimental to the free movement of the talented, creative and enterprising people who have enabled London to be such a dominant global force," he said.

Sections of Prime Minister David Cameron government and sections of British trade and industry have opposed the annual cap plan on the ground that the British economy will ultimately suffer if employers are not allowed to hire the right kind of professionals from abroad if talent in certain sectors is not available within the country.

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