The government has responded to a claim by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies that the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) category of the points-based system is providing a loophole for Indian IT companies to bring foreign workers into the UK.
Under an intra-company transfer, an employer can fill vacancies in its UK operations by bringing across some of its existing foreign-based staff. It has been claimed that this enables jobs in the IT and other sectors to be taken by migrants who are paid less than resident workers, but this is not true – workers coming to the UK in the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) category must be paid the going rate.
The UK Border Agency will, this spring, be amending the requirements for this category so that workers will need 12 months’ experience (instead of six months as at present) with their employer before they can be transferred to the UK. Additionally, the category will be closed as a route to permanent settlement in the UK.
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:
‘Intra-company transfers are an important part of making the UK an attractive place in which to do business, and therefore keep industry and the economy moving.
‘Workers that come in via this route must display the appropriate level of earnings and qualifications, and the numbers are strictly controlled by the points-based system – meaning only those the UK needs can come here.’