Many employers will be relieved to learn of David Cameron’s announcement to MPs yesterday that Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visas will be excluded from the permanent limit on migrant workers due to come into effect in April 2011.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has been indicating since July that Tier 2 (ICT) visas would be included in the permanent limit. Since then, international businesses, industry bodies and legal representatives including the Hammonds’ Business Immigration team have challenged the Government’s proposals on this issue and the immigration cap in general through the UKBA’s and Migration Advisory Committee’s consultation exercises as well as separate meetings with UKBA representatives. It now seems that these efforts are beginning to make some headway. Nonetheless, many businesses will still be affected by the permanent cap on Tier 2 (General) visas in April 2011, with further details on how this will operate in practice due to be published at the end of this year. We will keep you posted.