The government has taken the first steps to limiting non-EU migration ahead of imposing a permanent cap next year, a move that could limit businesses' ability to plug skills gaps through intra-company transfers involving foreign tech workers.
Capping immigration was a key Conservative policy during the election campaign, and one which survived its coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats. "We have agreed that there should be an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work. We will consider jointly the mechanism for implementing the limit," the document agreeing the coalition between the two parties read.
The document also asks businesses for their views on Tier 2 migration — which covers skilled migrants with job offers from UK employers who have been licensed as sponsors with the UK Border Agency. This category also covers intra-company transfers (ICTs) — a route many UK companies have used to bring in IT workers from outside the EU.
For more on this story, see Immigration caps: Company transfers of IT talent could be hit on silicon.com.