Are there thousands of IT professionals in the UK illegally?

The National Audit Office’s (NAO) latest report, which looked at the UK immigration points system, had some interesting findings.

Obviously the headline that everyone went with was the fact that there could be 181,000 overseas workers in the UK illegally because their visas have expired.

With IT professionals accounting for a large part of economic immigrants in the UK, it would make sense that a large part of this 181,000 workers in the UK on expired visas are IT workers.

Part of the problem, it seems, is that fact that The UK Border Agency leaves it to the employers to manage the workers and make sure they leave. Problem is they are not really set up to do this and they probably don’t care anyway.

The report also revealed the up to date figures on immigration, including details about the use of the controversial Intra Company Transfer (ICT) route. ICTs were excluded from the goivernments immigration cap.

Between April 2008 and December 2010 there were about 64,000 workers in the UK on ICT visas. A massive 55% of these were employed by IT consultancies.

Also 80% of applications for ICTs were made from outside the UK. So UK companies are not the ones making the applications, but by the looks of it offshore IT consultancies.