Britain’s immigration system is remarkably business friendly, contrary to the stories put out by some of the financial press, says a new report by Migration Watch UK published today.
In fact thousands of skilled worker (Tier 2), Exceptional Talent, and Graduate Entrepreneurs visas remained unfilled, despite cries that talented people are being denied access to the UK to work.
‘Instead of thousands of bogus students streaming in to work in low paid job and keeping wages down, as happened under the last government, our report shows that we now have a genuinely business friendly regime with thousands of places available for those skilled workers who are really needed,’ said Migration Watch UK chairman, Sir Andrew Green.
The report examines the seven kinds of visas available, several designed specifically for global business leaders, investors and world-class scientists. The aim is clearly to ensure that Britain remains one of the top business destinations in the world (The World Bank found that in 2012 the UK was the 7th best place for business friendly regulations, the third highest European country, behind Denmark and Norway).
6.2 million people visited the UK in 2011, of which 1.67 million came as business visitors. There is no limit to the number of Entrepreneurs, Investors, Students and Intra Company Transferees that can come to the UK.
Sir Andrew said: ‘There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that a better service is needed in individual cases but it is time that the financial press examined the facts more carefully before presenting an entirely false picture.
‘The government are, rightly, responding to overwhelming public pressure to get mass immigration under control. Exaggerated cries of alarm from parts of the business community send out an unnecessarily negative message which damages their own cause internationally.’