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Immigration cap declared unlawful by the High Court!

17 December 2010

Good news is often the exception to the rule in the immigration world. However, today, immigration practitioners and migrants alike have the opportunity to rejoice the High Court's decision to rule unlawful the introduction of the immigration cap on 19 July 2010.

The judicial challenge was brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the English Community Care Association as the latter was hit particularly hard by the cap imposed on workers in the care sector.

It's important to notice that the High Court has not ruled unlawful per se the nature of cap on Tier 1 and Tier 2 entry clearance applications, but rather the way in which the Home Office has rushed the policy with utter disregard for the proper parliamentary procedures.

Still, the end result remains the same as Lord Justice Sullivan and Justice Burton have declared unlawful the limits imposed on Tier 1 and Tier 2 applicants.

Significantly, this breaking news has not yet made its appearance on the UK Border Agency's website. However, this can only be seen as a considerable blow to the Home Office's stated goal to reduce net migration to the UK.

Although the UK Border Agency has the opportunity to appeal the decision, it will also need to implement in the interim some transitional arrangements for those migrants and UK employers penalized by the cap. This might prove a fairly messy exercise and in spite of this victory, it's unlikely that the plan to have a more permanent cap in April 2011 will be dropped.

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