Building on the success of the first full year of operation, the government has announced that the annual limit for highly skilled workers will remain at 20,700 for the next two years.
Giving the business sector greater certainty and consistency to make plans for the future the limit for non-EEA workers, which is currently undersubscribed, will be fixed until April 2014.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘The government has been clear that the UK is open for business and our limit has been designed with the industry’s needs in mind.
‘We believe there is no incompatibility between economic growth and controlling migration - our reformed, more selective immigration system can achieve both.’
As part of a move to ensure only the best migrants can work in the UK the skill level required by migrants who wish to work in the UK will also increase, meaning that jobs such as IT technicians and security managers will no longer be open to migrant workers, but highly-skilled occupations such as architect, teacher or chemical engineer will still be available.
At the same time we are making it easier for businesses by relaxing the rules and reducing bureaucracy for companies who are advertising highly paid and PhD-level jobs.
Prospective workers will still need to have a graduate level job, speak an intermediate level of English and meet specific salary and employment requirements before they are able to work here.