Headlines, Islamabad

Temporary visa holders no longer eligible to apply for settlement: UK

ISLAMABAD: Migrants going to the UK to work on temporary visas will no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the UK government on Thursday.

According to UK High Commission statement, “The UK government is implementing reforms to their immigration system which will reduce the level of immigration to sustainable levels. The announcement is the next step in this process.

Launching a public consultation on reforms to the work routes leading to settlement, UK Immigration Minister Damian Green set out plans to re-classify visas as either ‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’ and introduce stricter criteria for those who want to stay in the UK”.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “The proposals I am making today are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration.

“Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The immigration system has got to be made to work properly.
“We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home.”

Under the current system, many workers are allowed to apply to stay in the UK permanently. In 2010, 84,000 people who entered the UK for employment were granted settlement. This compares to less than 10,000 who qualified for employment related settlement in 1997.

The UK government has already implemented new settlement requirements for skilled workers entering the UK under Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System, which require applicants to demonstrate English-language proficiency, continue to meet the salary requirements and to pass a new criminality test.

Damian Green added: “A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK.”

The Government has committed to reforming all routes of entry to the UK in order to bring immigration levels under control. The settlement, Tier 5 and overseas domestic worker reforms will work alongside the annual limit, the new student visa reforms and changes to the family route which will be consulted on later this year, the statement said.



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