Author: JAMES BICKERTON
NEARLY 60,000 non-EU migrants are coming to the UK every year via a transfer scheme which avoids a Government cap, as immigration from outside the EU rises to its highest level in 13 years, it has been revealed.
An inter-company transfer scheme allows skilled workers to come to the UK without counting towards the Government’s official cap for such workers.
The official cap sits at 20,700 per year, significantly below the number of individuals currently using the transfer scheme.
The use of the programme was revealed by Migration Watch UK, a pressure group which campaigns for reduced immigration.
Lord Green, who founded and chairs Migration Watch, said: “Many people are asking why non-EU migration has not been reduced.
“Here is part of the answer.
“Either the Government have taken their eye off the ball or they have been too heavily influenced by a small group of companies and have ignored their own.”
According to Migration Watch the number of inter-company transfers (ICTs) has skyrocketed since 1992.
In 1997, approximately 15,000 were issued to workers and their dependants
Last year, that figure had increased to 58,000.
There are two types of Inter-Company Transfers; those which can be issued to high-skilled long-term staff and those to graduate trainees from outside the EU.
Migration Watch is urging the Government to close what it describes as a “loophole”.
Immigration to the UK from outside the EU in the year to September 2017 was 285,000, the highest figure for 13 years.
The net figure, which subtracts the number of non-EU nationals who leave the UK, was 205,000.
However for EU migrants the net figure fell to 100,000, a five-year low.
This was partly due to an increased number of EU citizens quitting the UK, with 130,000 choosing to leave.