Shake-up in immigration system may see foreign nationals lose rights to settle in UK
9th June 2011: A massive shake-up in the immigration system may see tens of thousands of foreign nationals lose rights to settle in the UK.
The changes may see some migrants stopped from switching over from one visa to another. It will hit hard those arriving on a temporary visa, but moving to another allowing them to stay permanently.
Even as their contribution to the economy and the social fabric is now established beyond any shadow of doubt, it is now clear going is getting tougher for the foreign nationals with the ministers calling for snapping the link between migration and settlement.
The ministers believe the linkage between migration and settlement needs to be broken, if they are to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’.
Also on cards is a new English language test for adults hoping to stay back permanently.
The changes are being contemplated as 238,950 people were granted settlement in 12 months to September last. The figure was highest figure since records in the 1960s.
The assertion came after the ministers were surprised to discover many different types of migrants permitted to apply to settle here.
In fact, a consultation document to be published by Theresa May says domestic workers alone can seek permanent residency through two different routes. Some of them are often the servants of wealthy foreign visitors.
Both routes permit extended periods of temporary leave of five years and six years respectively, and enable domestic worker to apply for settlement after five years.
The document will say: ‘This is exceptionally generous, and sits ill with an immigration system focused on meeting identified skill shortages and securing the brightest and best migrants.’
After the changes come into force, permission to stay will be restricted to a maximum of six or 12 months, which would allow domestic workers to accompany their employer for a short period only. They will lose the right to bring dependants.
Immigration minister Damian Green believes in a clear distinction between those coming and staying permanently and those who should be here temporarily.
He, in effect, wants to restrict ‘switching’.