Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced new rules on immigration to the UK from outside the European Union.
Those individuals with salaries above £150,000 will be exempt from the cap on immigration.
This follows an exemption for intra-company transfers.
Scientists will not be exempt, though certain scientific professions will be given an advantage.
The government is to institute a rolling system, where any oversubscribed month will impact on places available in the subsequent month, and any unused places will roll over.
The government aims to cut non-EU immigration from its current level of 200,000 per year, to "tens of thousands" by 2015.
From April, 20,700 visas will be made available to skilled workers, and 1000 for "exceptional talent".
The rules only relate to new applicants from outside the EU; firms intending to advertise outside the UK must have already advertised the post in the UK and been unable to find a candidate.