An influential group representing professionals from India and other non-European Union states said an annual cap on migration from non-EU countries will be “unworkable” and subject to challenge in courts.
Home secretary Theresa May today announced an annual limit of 24,100 for non-European Union professionals to be allowed into the UK until April 2011.
“We do not think any sort of cap would work out. It would be unworkable,” said Amit Kapadia,executive director of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum,responding to May’s announcement of an annual cap on the migration of Indian and other non-European Union professionals.
The chief of HSMP Forum,which campaigns for non-EU immigrants,said most non-EU migrants came to the UK to fill shortage of skills that cannot be found locally.
Therefore,drastic measures such as annual limits will affect UK companies and in turn,the national economy,he said.
“The British public seems to be misguided that these measures are for overall immigration in the UK. This is not true,these measures are focused on a small segment of migrants base coming from outside Europe,this will have no impact on the large base of migrant workers coming from EU countries,” he said.
Kapadia added: “What we feel is there should not be any knee jerk reaction just to show that the government is tough on immigration. The government needs to keep in mind the possible consequences which will be faced by employers due to such unfair measures”.
“A consultation should take place with stakeholders to asses the impact of such measures otherwise any such unsubstantiated measures with procedural defects will be reviewable in the courts,” he underlined.
He recalled that the British Council had estimated that universities here earned nearly 12 billion pounds from international students every year.
The facility to find and work after the students complete their courses has been a major attraction for international students who come to Britain.
“Post study work allows international students to work for a stipulated time after successful completion of their course with the accredited university. The cap will ensure a significant fall in this revenue,” he said.
Kapadia said the effect remains to be seen,”but if the government implements such drastic measures it is going to cause a lot of unhappiness among migrants who work hard and pay taxes and UK businesses”.