UK High Court Strikes Down Temporary Cap on Non-EU Skilled Workers; December 22 Set as Deadline for Tier 1 (General) Applications from Overseas
On December 17, 2010, the UK High Court held that the Home Office’s temporary cap on the number of non-EU citizen skilled workers allowed entry to the UK was introduced unlawfully. As reported by the BBC, the High Court found that ministers had “sidestepped” Parliamentary scrutiny by implementing the measure without a vote. Due to this ruling, the temporary cap for two tiers of job applicants—which was intended to stay in place until the permanent cap takes effect in April 2011—is no longer in effect.
In response to the ruling, on December 21 the UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced that it will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas as of 12:01 AM on December 23, 2010. This step was taken to prevent exceeding the limit set by the government for issued Tier 1 (General) applications between July 19, 2010 and April 5, 2011.
The UKBA announcement also stated:
- Tier 1 (General) in the UK will remain open until April 5, 2011.
- The government has set a limit until April 5, 2011 on the number of certificates of sponsorship available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors under Tier 2 (General). The level of the limit will be 10,832, and the changes will take place immediately.
The changes are detailed in a Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 698) dated December 21, 2010.