October 2015

Immigration and Asylum Committee

It has been a busy month for the Immigration and Asylum committee, who have responded to three consultations. 

Home Affairs Committee inquiry into skills shortages: the committee highlighted its thoughts on the annual cap on restricted certificates, and noted Scotland's economic needs differ from the rest of the UK and the need to increase the size of the working population. The annual cap does not recognise this and does not distinguish between Scotland and the rest of the UK.  It is the committee’s view that smaller businesses are likely to be disadvantaged by the annual cap as it requires them to pay higher salaries in order to secure skilled candidates.

Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence:  review of the Tier 2 route:the committee highlighted that the Tier 2 route is an important route for Scotland and the rest of the UK as it allows businesses to fill shortages with skilled candidates who can contribute to the growth of the business. In Scotland, reducing tier 2 migration will have a negative effect, by reducing the number of skilled workers available, in turn creating a particular impact on small businesses who may not be able to expand as a result of skill shortages.

Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants: the committee were unclear as to how the proposals for limiting support  for failed asylum seekers would change the current arrangements in any meaningful way, and suggest that clarification be given to what is meant by “a genuine obstacle to departure”.  The committee also highlighted the UN Convention on the rights of the Child and that the proposals fail to take account of the UK’s obligations in this respect.  There is no indication of how the Secretary of State will have regard to the best interests of children affected by support decisions, despite potentially negative consequences for their wellbeing.   

The full responses to all three consultations are available on our website