House of Lords written question – answered at on 21 December 2010.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 3 December (WA 506), how many intra-company transfer visa applicants sponsored for employment of 12 months or less in 2009 had a salary of (a) between £24,000 and £40,000, and (b) over £40,000; what were the types of job descriptions for key staff earning less than £24,000 who were granted visas in 2009; and why only staff earning more than £40,000 are eligible for intra-company visa access to the United Kingdom for periods of more than 12 months.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Jones Baroness Neville-Jones Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The number of visas issued to intra-company transferees in 2009 with a validity of 12 months or less was 5,054. Details of the salaries and job descriptions of these applicants is not held centrally and the information requested could only be produced by checking individual records at disproportionate cost.

Intra-company transferees account for a significant proportion of tier 2 numbers and there are concerns that they have been used by some companies to fill jobs that could be done by resident workers. Our new salary threshold of £40,000 for any transfers of longer than 12 months will ensure that those coming are the senior managers and key specialists that the route was intended for.

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Peter Kellard
Posted on 22 Dec 2010 11:45 pm (Report this annotation)

This ministers reply is technically correct because of the data the UKBA captures as part of the ICT visa application process and it's unwillingness to work with HMRC to cross check data.

When applying for a certificate of sponsorship under the points based system you can claim points for 'future expected earnings' for intra-company transfer visa applicants. It is not a requirement to provide the salary as ICT’s are exempt from the Resident Market test

However the expected earnings band is indicated. This information is captured as part of the online COS application process and will therefore be available for reporting.

The UKBA continues to hide behind a system designed with holes in like this. Perhaps the minister can come forward with details of enhancing data capture so these simple items like salary, skill and product combinations (eg programmer, MS Access £25K or programmer SAP ABAP £50K ) are recorded.

Another route to find this information is to use the NI number allocated to a migrant worker as this is recorded against the COS/Visa and can be used to cross reference PAYE data with the Inland Revenue. You would have thought the UKBA would want to be working closely with HMRC to ensure they had access to such data, however no such data sharing exists.