Richard Tyler reports in the Daily Telegraph that the new UK Border Agency has admitted the it takes longer to process skilled worker applications. Some small employers have also complained the big increase of the fee a company has to pay to register as a ’sponsor’ of skiller migrants.

It said that instead of deciding 90pc of applications within 15 working days, it was now taking around four weeks to process even “straightforward” applications.

There has been a 135pc increase in the current skilled work permit fee and smaller companies only seeking to hire one or two migrants each year face a further 580pc jump in the fees to bring them into the country under the new points-based immigration system being phased in this year.

Under the new system, employers pay £1,000 to join a list of sponsors of skilled migrants from outside the European Union. There is then an additional £170 fee to issue a “certificate” to each migrant to be sponsored.

Read the full report.