Indian professional group opposes UK immigration cap

Following a UK government announcement an indian organisation, which has challenged changes to the UK immigration rules in the past, says it will oppose what it describes as an illogical cap on immigration.

Director of Highly skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum Amit Kapadia said, “The [UK] government’s move to impose an illogical cap will be opposed.”

He is also reported as saying, “We don’t think that any sort of cap would work out. It would be unworkable. The effects remain to be seen, but if the government really tries to implement drastic measures it is going to cause a lot of unhappiness, especially among migrants who work hard and pay taxes.”

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"...among migrants who work hard and pay taxes":

When it comes to ICT workers (who are not covered by the proposed cap), my understanding is that they and their employers pay little or no tax in the UK anyway. Also, most of the ICTs I've worked with have been inexperienced and low-skilled compared to the people they have replaced, so most of them do not qualify as "highly skilled migrants" either. Some of them do work very hard, but others are bone idle or seem incapable of independent thought and require constant nannying by the experienced staff they will soon replace. With 40,000 UK IT workers out of work, and UK IT graduates struggling to find jobs, I see no reason why the UK should continue to act as a finishing school for imported computing trainees, or why the UK taxpayer should continue to subsidise tax-dodging by firms that use this wide open back door to undermine the long term viability of the UK IT industry.

It is a bit crazy that the highly skilled tier 1 category is capped while ICTs are not. Tier 1 makes available highly skilled workers to all UK employers and they compete on an equal footing with UK workers, while ICTs are heavily used and abused by trans national companies.

Tier 1 is just an easy target while large transnational companies have a lot more lobbying clout.

Of course there are a lot of problems with tier 1 and how it allocates points which means that it does not do the best job identifying the highly skilled.


I am an immigrant worker in ICT industry and I have been here for 2 years now. I have earmed with both my hands and paid taxes of many tens of thousands without a single quid benefit, except for a few NHS visits for a flu. I don't claim child benefit or anything. I can't, for that matter. I happily pay my taxes and I willingly work for a company that believes in being loyal to the local economy where you do buainess. I strongly believe that only if UK and US are strong, migrants can benefit. So, the government must address the unemployment especially Grads + 5 years. Also, UK grads must try and become gloabl managers and be ready to work in China, Brazil, India etc. They are no more third world countries. The people there will take care of UK citizens with 5 star treatment. And its a great learning for UK grads.

I definitely want to and will help the UK grads to become global citizens and willing to do free trainings and orientation.

UK is a great country and a great democracy. Immigrants as well as citizens should keep its flag flying high.

There are thousands like me working in this country. so pl be fair in your comments

Of course they object, but the British surely have the right to decide who enters their country and why. Since when was UK Immigration policy the business of anybody but the British. The fact is the HSMP is being used to blatantly circumvent immigration laws and domestic IT workers are severely disadvantaged as a result.

"Most non-EU migrants came to the UK to fill shortage of skills". No they don't, they come primarily for personal gain, and once in the UK become very reluctant to leave again!

Individuals on tier 1 (i.e. the highly skilled who are not tied to one employer) are generally the talented, hardworking, tax paying workers that should be encouraged. They can chose who to work for, so they benefit all businesses and not just the sponsoring company, and can move employers if they are underpaid.

Almost every criticism we see in these blogs are for the intra company transfer system which predominantly favours and gives significant financial benefits to trans national companies. But tier 1 gets capped and tier 2 ict does not. Big business has too much control of migration and of course uses it to increase profits.

If you look at the submissions organisations like NASSCOM make to the government regarding visas, then you see that they are very much against individuals getting visas to work but very much for their members controlling their workers right to work here (e.g. NASSCOM wanted their members to be informed if any of their employees applied for tier 1 visas and this was only rejected on data protection grounds).

No Question ICT has destroyed the market for all IT workers in the UK (Including the poor sod's who've jumped through the hoops for Tier 1 immigration to the UK).

Put an enforced lower pay limit of £50k per annum paid directly to the ICT worker, and make it compulsory for the worker and the Company to pay full PAYE UK tax on these vacancies and rigorously police it, and watch how the demand for "skilled foreign workers" will melt away.

If anyone doubts that the primary reason for ICT is cheap labour just scour the jobs on the Jobcentre Plus website, see how many vacancies for DBA's, IT managers and Architects are advertised "At or above minimum wage".

Personally if I want a minimum wage job I'll get a job at homebase or in a coffee bar, far less stressful.

But I guess if UK Industry can still get it's slave labour cheaply, and not pay hardly any tax for it's IT workers that's all that matters isn't it?

Sooner or later these bozo's will find there are virtually no skilled UK IT staff, and that will be the day our little offshore chums will triple their rates.

Posted from Amsterdam, as after 22 years in IT (10 in UNIX/Linux, Java and .NET web application support) my own country has forced me to become an immigrant.

The same month I joined 3 other English guys joined my new company; we had all spent 6-12 months unemployed and lost our savings trying to survive.

@ash: "I am an immigrant worker in ICT industry..."

Not sure but wanted to clarify: when we are talking about "ICT" workers here, we are talking about "intra-company transfers" i.e. mostly junior/inexperienced staff who are brought into the UK outside the visa/work permit system by companies with offshore offices (usually in India). These imported staff (around 45,000 of them last year alone) are typically paid no salary in the UK but receive a tax-free subsistence allowance here (so they and their employers pay no tax in the UK). These workers are used to replace skilled UK-based staff (including foreign workers on legitimate visas) with cheap inexperienced forriegn workers who do not have the skills/experience to justify bringing them in as "skilled workers", but who are used as cheap cannon fodder on those few remaining projects that have not simply been outsourced to India. This is the real problem that is destroying the UK IT industry, which is why the "ICT" issue keeps coming up in forums like this blog, although the new visa limits will do nothing to resolve this problem. If you have the skills/experience to compete with me on a fair basis in the UK i.e. earning a UK salary and paying UK taxes and costs, then good luck to you. But there is no reason why this country should be training and subsidising (through tax avoidance) foreign ICTs when thousands of our own IT workers are unemployed, and no reason at all why we should care what glorified foreign people-traffickers think about UK visa regulations. If they don't like the rules here, they can go elsewhere and we'll take our chances without them.

Problem is this was all thrashed out at one of the G20's; from what I've read elsewhere the UK government agreed to letting large numbers of Indian ICT's in, in exchange for greater access to Indian markets for British businesses; if that's true they had better get some extremely lucrative deals to pay for all the misery the influx of Indian ICT workers has brought on workers in the UK IT industry.

I think the immigration cap is a good idea for UK. We need something like this, considering the fact that the previous (Labour) Government have let in so many useless immigrants who do nothing but claim all sorts of government benefits.

Some of these immigrants who falsely claim excessive benefits are putting a severe strain on public services at taxpayer's expense e.g health, public transport, housing, education etc.

The immigrantion cap can also allow home grown people to find newly created jobs.

Unfortunately the current cap only applies to the migrants that are most likely to be hardworking, tax paying, law abiding, english speaking, skilled and educated.

Graduate unemployment in computer science is now one of the highest. Compare this to 10 years ago when IT jobs were well paid and on the up. At the same time we keep hearing from employers moaning that there is a skills shortage (biased and utter nonsense).

Salaries and rates have consistently fallen over the last ten years for two reasons:

1. Off shoring to India and other low cost countries.

2. On shoring to the UK of low cost labour primarily from India.

Visas should be severely restricted. IT is no different from any other profession such as accountancy, medicine and law except that there no "regulatory" qualifications to jump through. This means that any joker can say they are a software engineer.

Also in response to one comment about being a global citizen. UK people find it extremely difficult to get a VISA to the US.