London: An influential group representing
professionals from India and other non-European Union states on Monday said an annual cap on migration from non-EU countries
will be "unworkable" and subject to challenge in courts.
Home secretary Theresa May on Monday 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
"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".
Kapadia said that any changes introduced should not
affect migrants who are already resident in the UK, since it
will be unfair to apply any strict measures for further visa
extensions to migrants who came under a different set of
According to the HSMP Forum, the UK economy was not
ready for such drastic measures. These measures should be
postponed until UK fully recovers from the economic crisis,