Interim immigration cap ruled unlawful following High Court judgment

The interim immigration cap which was introduced in July 2010 to prevent a ‘rush’ of applications prior the permanent limit in April 2011 has been ruled unlawful by the High Court, following a challenge by the JCWI and ECCA.

The High Court judges concluded that the home secretary had not gone through the proper parliamentary procedures before implementing the cap.

Our understanding of this judgment is that the interim cap is no longer in force. This means there is no current restriction on the number of Tier 1 (General) visas that may be granted from outside of the UK, or the number of Certificates of Sponsorship which may be issued to employers in the UK. However, it should be mentioned that the granting of Certificates of Sponsorship was always subject to the discretion of the UK Border Agency.

Damian Green, immigration minister, has suggested that the Government may appeal the verdict and has stated “We will do all in our power to continue to prevent a rush of applications before our more permanent measures are in place.”

We would recommend that individuals wishing to apply for Tier 1 (General) from outside of the UK should apply as soon as possible, so as to take advantage of the apparent ‘stop’ in the interim immigration cap.

We would also recommend that any companies wishing to sponsor migrant workers proceed as soon as possible.

Many of the precise implications of this judgment are as yet unclear. We will publish more information as soon as it becomes available.

UK Work Permits is always happy to give free initial advice regarding the viability of visa applications. If you would like to make an application or have any further queries, please contact us.