Tightening of British visa rules leaves Kiwis in London apprehensive

They believe action will take away their right to stay long-term

20th September 2011:
The tightening of British visa rules have left the Kiwis in London apprehensive. They believe the action will take away from them their right to stay long-term.
Their apprehension stems from the fact that the British government has just closed consultation on proposals to further tighten the visa rules for outside European Union workers and end automatic settlement.
Working in Britain, New Zealanders have since long been able to get settlement after five years.

The UK regional manager of KEA, a New Zealand expatriate network, Stephen Dee says their problem was with the highly skilled people, including lawyers, bankers and accountants.

He added it was really hard to see how this change of regulations was going to really benefit the UK economy.

Dee said he was sure it would end up being a net loss for the UK economy if they deny New Zealanders the opportunity to come here as freely as they have been.

The squeeze on highly skilled non-EU migrants entering Britain has already come under fire from the Government’s own advisory body on immigration.

The Government’s Migration Advisory Council (MAC) has issued a stern warning that the country’s economy could suffer a permanent damage if the squeeze  continues.

The warning comes just as consultations on fresh measures to bring down the levels of permanent immigration to the UK come to a close on 9 September.

Once implemented, some of the measures could not only limit the right of migrants to settle, but also prevent them from staying beyond five years.

Already in April, the government had capped the number of migrants from the highly skilled Tier 1 and Tier 2 at 22,000.

MAC says at a time when the economy is struggling to recover, £560m will be sliced from Britain’s GDP, each time the number of people in these groups coming to the UK falls by 10,000.

The significant report, "Limits on Tier 1 and Tier 2 for 2011/2012 and Supporting Policies", said: "Tier 1 and 2 migration makes a small but positive contribution to GDP per head. Such effects will accumulate over time and become more significant."

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