London First has welcomed the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s criticism of UK Government’s immigration policy.
Mr. Boris recently said that tough visa requirements were damaging the London economy and preventing universities and City employers from recruiting the best talent from abroad.
London First has long argued that the key factor in achieving UK economic growth, while much of Europe stagnates, will be maintaining UK’s attractiveness as a destination for skilled workers, investors, students and tourists from growing non-EU economies.
Some of the solutions London First is suggesting include: removing students from the net migration target, alongside tackling bogus applications and ensuring that ‘overstayers’ return; improving the accuracy of immigration flow data with the introduction of e-borders by 2015 at the latest; a tourist friendly visa process which enables the same number of high-spending tourists to visit the UK as continental Europe; more flexibility in the “cooling off” period – enabling genuine workers to switch jobs and commitment to meeting and reducing border queue targets with the urgent introduction of e-gates.
London First said they will continue working with Government and other key stakeholders to advocate for immigration and border policies that enable the best and brightest to work and study in the UK.