It what may eventually come as a blow to the UK’s economy, the Government is making it clear that skilled migrants too may lose their right to settle in the UK. Approximately 40,000 skilled migrants annually may find themselves losing their right to work beyond five years in Britain.
In fact, the government’s immigration advisers have predicted the policy will see the number of foreign workers permitted settlement each year drop from 60,000 to 20,000.
Presently, migrants from outside the EU who work legitimately in the UK for five years are eligible to apply for settlement, signifying they can live here forever and later apply for British citizenship.
Already Home Secretary Theresa May has aired the plans to compel the skilled migrant workers to leave the UK after five years, if they earn less than £35,000 a year
Theresa May is expected to tell the MPs that she is severing for the first time the link between migration and settlement, in a move towards creating a temporary “guestworker” migrant labour force in the UK.
May is expected to tell the MPs on Wednesday that the link between migration and settlement will be severed by withdrawing the right to remain in Britain for more than five years from any migrant worker earning less than £35,000 a year.
In 2010, almost 15,700 visas were handed to overseas domestic workers and 1,360 were allowed to settle here.
The development is significant as two educational organisations have expressed their views over recently announced changes to UK visa openings for international students. The institutions have claimed the changes will damage the UK’s appeal.
The British Council and Universities UK have claimed that international students, mainly those from India, will choose to study elsewhere when new UK visa policy would come into effect in the next few months.
The British Council echoed Universities UK’s concerns in a report titled ‘Impact of Visa Changes on Student Mobility and Outlook for the UK’ in which an ‘urgent review’ of the student visa changes was called for.
The report stated “The sooner this situation was addressed, the more contained the damage of bad publicity overseas would be.”