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06th of April, 2011
Immigration cap enters into force Immigration Minister Damian Green said. !!!

Government's annual immigration cap for workers from outside the EU comes into force on Wednesday, Immigration Minister Damian Green said.

Only 20,700 skilled workers from outside the EU will be allowed to come to the UK this year, with 4,200 places available in April 2011, followed by 1,500 in each consecutive month, to cut net migration from 200,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015.

Mr Green said: "We have made clear that as the recovery continues, we need employers to look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country.

"We are overhauling all routes of entry to tackle abuses, make the system more effective and bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands."

A further 1,000 exceptional talent visas will available for the "brightest and the best" contributors to science and the arts, he said.

"We are sending out a clear message - the UK remains open for business and we want those who have the most to offer to come and settle here."

Intra-company transfers (ICTs), used by firms to bring their own people into the UK for more than a year to do specific jobs, will be excluded from the cap, but a minimum salary of £40,000 is also being introduced, the Home Office said. But firms will still be able to bring non-EU workers into the UK on ICTs for less than 12 months as long as they earn £24,000.

All skilled workers from outside the EU will need a graduate-level job, as defined by the Migration Advisory Committee's list, speak an intermediate level of English, and earn at least £20,000.

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