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May to announce proposed immigration cap levels

Could cap number of skilled migrants at around 43,000 next year

23rd November 2010: Less than a week after Migration Advisory Committee (Mac) suggested that the number of migrant workers coming to Britain from outside the EU should be cut to between 37,400 and 43,700 next year, Home Secretary Theresa May is all set to announce the level of the Government’s proposed immigration cap.
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Even as the government has run into criticism for its move to slash the number of non-EU students and people allowed settling down in the UK, as well as the cap on foreign workers, May’s statement to MPs on the issue is on the cards.

According to an estimate, the home secretary will cap the number of skilled migrants at around 43,000 next year.

As such, it will be just 13 per cent lower than 2009’s figure and the highest figure recommended by the independent migration advisory committee last week.

It is also estimated that the staff transferred by companies to the UK from another country will be exempt from the cap, if the salary is over £40,000.

The move may also see the number of students coming to Britain from outside the EU go down perhaps by more than 87,000. Also slashed will be the number of people travelling to the UK for working holidays, along with those coming as domestic servants or on creative and media visas.

Her statement will come soon after Prime Minister UK Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated he would stick by his election promise and numbers of immigrants would be cut to ‘tens of thousands’ a year.

Cameron only about a day ago said it was ‘perfectly possible’ to meet the pledge; and this would be done by slashing the number of non-EU students and people allowed to settle in the UK, as well as the cap on foreign workers.

May has already made it clear she was in favour of a crackdown on non-EU students joining privately-funded colleges and to study below degree-level courses in an attempt to make eligibility criteria for visas more selective.

The move comes soon after Japan’s biggest carmakers warned immigration minister that cap could result in serious consequences for the industry.

Executives from three of Japan’s biggest manufacturers cautioned the government that plans to restrict the number of immigrant workers coming to Britain could affect the car trade.

Earlier, scientists too had attacked immigration cap. In fact, the UK’s proposed permanent cap on immigration only recently came fire from a group of Nobel prize-winning scientists. They had warned that the cap threatened the country’s future as a centre of scientific excellence.

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