A temporary immigration cap introduced by the government had been declared illegal by the High Court and has been nullified, meaning it is no longer in effect.
The immigration cap on skilled migrants was introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year as an interim measure before a permanent cap comes into play.
However, senior judges have ruled that the temporary cap is unlawful because ministers did not seek proper parliamentary approval when it was introduced.
The ruling came after a challenge from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and by the English Community Care Association.
Habib Rahman, the chief executive of the JCWI hailed the ruling “a victory for democracy and the rule of law.”
The temporary immigration cap was part of the UK government’s plans to reduce immigration from nearly 200,000 a year to “tens of thousands”. As an interim measure, before a final decision is made on the permanent cap in April, a temporary cap for non-EU skilled workers of 24,100 a month was introduced.
However the cap has been strongly opposed by The English Community Care Association which said it would have a potentially “catastrophic” effect on the care sector. 13% of those who work in care homes in the UK come from outside Europe.
Today, the court ruled that the changes were unconstitutional.
Home Office ministers announced the introduction of the temporary cap to parliament but did not detail how it would operate. Details were then posted on the Home Office website but not presented to parliament.
Lord Justice Sedley said: “Parliament will expect the home secretary to lay before it any rules by which he or she proposes to manage immigration; the courts will expect such rules, like any other source of law, to be those and only those which have parliament’s approval.”
UK government will oppose immigration cap ruling
The UK government has said it will fight the High Court’s over-ruling of the temporary immigration cap, citing fears that there will be a rush of applications before the permanent cap is introduced.
The Home Office claimed the verdict did not threaten its flagship immigration policy.
Immigration minister Damian Green said: “We will study the judgment and will appeal it, if we have grounds.
“We will do all in our power to continue to prevent a rush of applications before our more permanent measures are in place.”
Although the temporary immigration cap is now nullified, the government may introduce a new cap when it returns in January.