December 17, 2010
The temporary cap on non-EU migrants introduced by the Home Office in July 2010 has today been declared unlawful by the High Court, following a judicial review. The decision is based on the government’s failure to follow proper Parliamentary procedure when introducing the temporary cap.
The main impact of the temporary cap was that UK Border Agency officials unilaterally reduced the number of Certificates of Sponsorship which individual employers were able to issue to non-EU migrants to whom they had made job offers under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. As a result, some workers were unable to come to the UK when needed, leading to staff shortages, particularly in restaurants seeking to bring in chefs under the Shortage Occupation element of Tier 2.
Full details of the decision are awaited, along with the reaction of the Home Office. It does not seem that the decision will cause any changes to the long term restrictions on non-EU migrants which the Home Office has announced will take effect in April 2011, but which the BHA recommended be scrapped. However, it may allow some of those workers unable to enter the UK because of the temporary cap to take up the job offers previously made to them.