The Home Secretary Theresa May hailed ‘the first significant falls in net migration since the 1990’s’ in her keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week. Her speech underlined the commitment of the Government to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.

Mrs May described the work already done by the Conservatives in limiting the number of work visas issued to those from outside the EU. As a reminder, policies to ensure this happens include:

  • capping the number of non-EU skilled workers under Tier 2 (general) of the points based system and earning less than £150,000 a year, to 20,700 places for 2012/2013; and
  • reducing the number of non-EU highly skilled workers entering the UK by limiting this route to investors, entrepreneurs, graduate entrepreneurs and those with ‘exceptional talent’.

Due to the mixed success of the above policies, further immigration rule changes including visa curbs on EU migration, can be expected in the future as the coalition continues to meet its pledge to cut net migration.

We will update you with more information on any proposed changes as soon as possible.