UK’s High Court has nullified the government’s decision to introduce a cap on number of skilled workers from India and other non-EU countries, saying the limit imposed without a parliamentary scrutiny is ‘unlawful’
The temporary cap on the number of skilled workers from countries outside the European Union was introduced in June ‘unlawfully’, the High Court ruled yesterday.
Home secretary Theresa May had introduced the cap as an interim measure before a permanent cap to be in place from April 2011. It was challenged on the ground that ministers had ‘sidestepped’ parliamentary scrutiny before announcing the temporary cap.
The legal challenge to the cap of 24,100 until April 2011 was brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and English Community Care Association, and was upheld by the judges.
The home office said this did not imperil its flagship immigration policy but the opposition Labour said the policy was in “chaos” after the court ruling.
The ruling has nullified the current temporary cap, meaning it is no longer in force.
The cap was one of the first measures of the coalition government that promised to bring down immigrations from hundreds of thousands every year to ‘tens of thousands’.
In the ruling, Lord Justice Sullivan and Justice Burton concluded that the home secretary had not gone through the proper parliamentary procedures before implementing the cap, which took effect without a vote in parliament.
The judges said: “The secretary of state made no secret of her intentions. There can be no doubt that she was attempting to side-step provisions for Parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act and her attempt was for that reason unlawful.”
As a result, it said no lawful limits were now in place for Tier One and Tier Two applicants from abroad.
The home office said it was still “firmly committed” to reducing levels of net migration.
“I am disappointed with today’s verdict,” Immigration minister Damian Green said, adding: “We will do all in our power to continue to prevent a rush of applications before our more permanent measures are in place”.
There is a possibility that the labour government will appeal against this decision in the Supreme Court, however, our opinion is that the decision is likely to be upheld.
We recommend that you apply for your Tier 1 visa now, before it is stopped completely from the 1st of April 2011.
Temporary Cap on Tier Visas lifted by UK court
Posted on December 18, 2010