Immigrants may not be able to switch from non-settlement to settlement visa


Closing of an entry loophole, which allowed plenty to set up homes in the UK

multiethnic.png01 February 2011: In yet another blow to immigrants aspiring to settle in the UK, Immigration Minister Damian Green is scheduled to order the closing of an entry loophole, which allowed huge numbers of new arrivals to set up homes in the UK. The new scheme of things could see visa applicants having to convince  immigration officers of their true intentions before they come to Britain.

Immigrants will be forbidden from changing their reasons once they have arrived. This would have the direct fall out on a large number of students, who come to study in UK, aiming for better prospects. After completion of courses, students would often look for suitable jobs in the country and apply for settlement visas.     

Existing rules signify migrants can switch from a non-settlement visa. In fact, the migrants can swap from their intention to stay in UK briefly to work or study, to applying to settle, which could eventually result in their getting a passport.

As many as 238,950 migrants were granted indefinite settlement in the UK last year, a 30 per cent jump on 2009’s total, and many will have already tried to apply for British citizenship.

Damian Green said the government needs to be much clearer about which routes people use to come here are temporary routes and which routes are designed to be permanent routes.

He added it allows everybody to know where they are before they start.

Green asserted in this country they have developed the tradition that you come for one reason and you just switch around to other reasons for staying here and maybe for staying permanently.

Migration Watch spokesman Alp Mehmet said they have been all along saying current visa rules were relatively easy to abuse. He added at the moment the government seems to be heading in the right direction.

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