Two thirds of intra-company transfer visas go to IT staff

Nearly two in three migrant workers using the intra-company transfer (ICT) system to work in the UK are employed in IT, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report released today.

The report assessed the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) performance since the introduction of the points system in 2008. The committee said the UKBA does not have enough control over the ICT system, which allows employees of multinational corporations to obtain UK work visas as long as their post cannot be filled by a natioal resident, and voiced concerns that the influx of migrants is displacing British IT workers.

The number of workers that can enter the UK through the ICT route is not capped, although from April this year, workers will have to earn at least £40,000 a year (£24,000 if working for up to 12 months) to work in the country. The report praised this measure, but warned that the UKBA would need to monitor these salaries closely in order to protect resident workers.

The fact that companies are permitted to pay up to 40% of the required salary in allowances, which are inherently harder to verify, was also highlighted. The PAC report said the UKBA should consider dropping this provision.

The top ten users of ICTs are all IT or technology companies, the report found. They are, in descending order:

Rank Organisation Country Headquarters Certificates of Sponsorship
1 Tata Consultancy Services India 7,632
2 Cognizant Technology Solutions US with operations in India 4,962
3 Infosys Technologies Ltd US 3,761
4 Wipro Technologies India 3,611
5 IBM UK Ltd US 2,558
6 Tech Mahindra ltd India 2,369
7 Accenture (UK) Ltd US 2,019
8 HCL Great Britain Ltd India 1,873
9 Capgemini PLC France 1,226
10 Steria Ltd France with operations in India 1,034

Source: Home Office (Despite what the table suggests, all the companies mentioned have operations in India)

The report also found that the UKBA has struggled to manage migrant information in general since the introduction of the points system. The committee said that the necessary IT structures were not in place when the new system was implemented, largely in an effort to meet deadlines and budgets. As a result, it said, the UKBA does not know when visas are about to expire and cannot identify high-risk applications.

The UKBA told the committee that it planned to introduce an immigration casework system that would address these shortcomings.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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