Friday, February 28, 2014

Leading industrialist says UK immigration regime is killing UK engineering

Sir James Dyson, the founder of the Dyson technology company, best known for its vacuum cleaners, has slammed the UK's Coalition government for its immigration policy which, he says, is putting British jobs at risk.

Sir James, who is thought to be worth £3bn, wrote an opinion piece for The Financial Times entitled 'Stop kicking out bright foreigners, or put British jobs at risk. He says that in 2014, there will be 61,000 engineering positions in the UK that will go unfilled and says that, if companies can't find the engineers in the UK, they will be forced to go elsewhere, thus costing British jobs.

It seems from what he has said that Sir James is likely to be in favour of immigration schemes similar to those that have since closed for new applicants such as
  • The Tier 1 (General) visa that allowed skilled professionals to work freely in the UK without a sponsor and
  • The Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa which allowed students to work in the UK for two years after graduation.



Tier 2 scheme makes it 'difficult to sponsor workers'

Sir James says that his company intends to recruit 3,000 engineers to work at his headquarters in Wiltshire in 2014 but says 'I have no idea where these engineers are going to come from'. He says 'Last year we had 120 engineering positions unfilled. It holds us back and it holds exports back'.



Financial incentives

In the longer term, Sir James says that the UK must change the education system to produce more engineers. He suggests that the UK should 'offer financial incentives to encourage the brightest students towards areas of vital national interest'.

But, in the shorter term, the UK must allow foreign engineering graduates who train at British universities to stay in the country to work. He says that, instead, 'we kick them out, dispatching newly trained engineers to foreign shores. Our experts are training the competition'.

Sir James names (former) immigration minister Mark Harper as being partly to blame for the situation. He says 'Immigration Minister Mark Harper will have you believe that this (refusing foreign engineering students permission to stay in the UK) is in the national interest. It is not. We all lose out when we deprive our businesses of the best talent'.



'Let's use their brains'

Sir James says that foreign students want to stay in the UK. He says they 'are clearly anglophiles and they are clearly bright. So let us use their brains to our advantage.

The reason these engineers go home is because we do everything we can to make them unwelcome'.

Sir James adds that it is also extremely difficult for UK employers who face 'high fees and an avalanche of paperwork'. He says 'these are the world's most promising engineers. We ought to be encouraging them to stay, not waving them goodbye'.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our UK page for more information:


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Canadian Immigration to abolish Immigrant Investor Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced that the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and the Federal Entrepreneur Program (FEP) will be terminated. The two programs were once Canada's main investor and entrepreneur programs but both had been suspended for some time.

In a statement, CIC said that the move will 'eliminate a large and longstanding backlog of applications, and pave the way for new pilot programs that will actually meet Canada's labour market and economic needs'.

The IIP has been suspended since July 2012. At the time that it was suspended, there were 25,000 applicants waiting for their applications to be determined. As most of these had applied to bring family with them, it is thought that some 75,000 people were waiting for Canadian permanent resident visas under the IIP.



Applications terminated

These applications will now be terminated and the application fees will be returned.
The IIP allowed wealthy foreign citizens worth more than CAN$1,600,000 (£885,000, US$1,455,000) to apply for Canadian permanent resident visas if they lent $800,000 ( (£443,000, US$733,000) to the Canadian government for three years.

The former immigration minister, Jason Kenney, told journalists in 2012 that the program 'undervalued the importance of Canadian citizenship and fails to ensure that new investors actively in the Canadian economy'



IIP scrapped

There were rumours in 2013 that CIC might keep the IIP in place but increase the size of the qualifying loan. These rumours have proved to be false.

In a statement, CIC said 'Research shows that immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other economic immigrants, are less likely to stay in Canada over the medium-to-long term and often lack the skills, including official language proficiency, to integrate as well as other immigrants from the same countries'.

The FEP was suspended in 2011. At that time, there was a backlog of 10,000 applications pending, which would have taken about eight years to clear. FEP applications will also be terminated and Government fees refunded.



'Administratively very burdensome and underwhelming in terms of results'

When he suspended the program, Mr Kenney said that it was 'administratively very burdensome and underwhelming in terms of the results'.

CIC says that it will 'replace these programs with more focused and effective pilot programs that will ensure that immigrants who come to Canada deliver meaningful benefits to our economy'.



Start-up visa

Canada has already established a new entrepreneur visa. On 1st April 2013, it launched the Start-Up visa which seeks to connect foreign entrepreneurs with Canadian venture capitalists.

If entrepreneurs can attract sufficient investment then, providing they meet Canada's general immigration criteria, they will receive permanent residence visas.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BBC finds 'systematic fraud' in UK's student immigration system

A BBC investigation into the UK's Tier 4 student visa system has found 'systematic immigration fraud'. An investigation for the Panorama documentary programme found immigration consultants offering forged documents for use in Tier 4 visa applications and offering to help students cheat in government approved exams.

Interviewed for the programme, the UK's Home Secretary, Theresa May, told reporter Richard Watson that the programme's findings were 'shocking and important' and said 'I want to do something about it'.

The UK issues about 200,000 student visas annually and also approves a further 100,000 visa extensions. In order to qualify for a Tier 4 visa, you must be able to prove that;
  • You can communicate adequately in English. To prove this, you must take an English test in two parts. First, you must talk with an examiner, usually online, who will assess your English ability and then you must take a 200 question multiple choice exam.
  • You have suitable academic qualifications. You will have to show certificates.
  • You have sufficient funds to be able to support yourself in the UK. You will have to show bank statements
  • A registered UK academic institution is prepared to sponsor your visa application.



Forged documents

The Panorama programme sent foreign students who were in the UK legally to pose as customers at the offices of several immigration consultancies. Consultants were filmed
  • Offering to help applicants who could not speak English to pass the government's English test by;
    • Arranging for someone fluent in English to take the oral English test and
    • Providing all the answers to the multiple choice test
  • Providing forged educational certificates
  • Providing misleading bank statements and
  • Arranging for educational institutions to provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) certificate to applicants who were not intending to study there.

The Panorama report followed several undercover reporters at two different immigration consultancies. The reporters visited the firms and asked for help obtaining Tier 4 visas. They explained that they needed Tier 4 visas but intended to work full time.

The reporters also made it clear that they did not have the correct paperwork. For a total of about £2,500 the bogus consultants produced the forged or misleading information required.



Hacking bank accounts

Consultants provided bogus educational qualifications and bank statements. One consultant boasted that he would hack into banks and steal the details of a person with a similar name to a Tier 4 applicant with a healthy bank balance and show this information to the Home Office.

The film then showed exams at two separate English language testing centres in London where undercover reporters posing as Tier 4 applicants arrived at the centre to take tests to prove their English language ability.

When they arrived, they registered their presence with the invigilators. Then, they were told to keep out of the way while other people, who were fluent in English, took the English tests for them.



Sponsorship licences suspended

The Home Office has since suspended all English language tests run by ETS, the world's biggest educational testing service and has also suspended the sponsorship licences of the two English language colleges involved.

The Home Secretary has said that the Home Office will investigate all the allegations made in the programme.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our website for more information:

Friday, February 21, 2014

UK PM clashes with his own party on immigration

The UK's House of Commons voted on the Coalition government's Immigration bill on Friday 31st January 2014. The bill was passed by the Commons and will now proceed to the House of Lords. By law, the Lords cannot legally prevent the passage of the bill, but they can delay it by introducing amendments and returning it for further votes in the Common.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, introduced an amendment to the bill which was passed by the Commons by 297 votes to 34. This amendment will, if confirmed by the House of Lords, allow the UK to strip naturalised British citizens of their citizenship when they are suspected of terrorism offences, even if this means that they will become stateless.

This amendment was labelled 'irresponsible and unjust' by the human rights group Liberty. And on the BBC political debate show Question Time, former Conservative Home Secretary Ken Clarke MP voiced concern about the amendment saying he would ask the Attorney General Dominic Grieve 'to satisfy me [that the amendment] was compatible with the rule of law'.



Raab's amendment

Parliamentary commentators believe that Mrs May introduced her amendment in order to try to stop a backbench rebellion in favour of another amendment introduced by Conservative backbencher Dominic Raab.

Mr Raab's amendment would have removed the right of foreign-born criminals to use EU human rights legislation to avoid deportation. Currently, many foreign-born criminals who have family in the UK go to court to oppose their deportation on the grounds that the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees all EU citizens the 'right to family life'.

Mrs May told the Commons that she opposed Mr Raab's amendment because, if the amendment was passed. This would make the Immigration Act 'incompatible' with EU law. One would, therefore, have expected Mr Cameron and his cabinet colleagues to vote against the amendment.



Front bench abstained on 'illegal' amendment

However, despite the fact that the government's own legal advisors had advised that the amendment would be illegal, Mr Cameron ordered his cabinet colleagues to abstain during the vote on Mr Raab's amendment.

Westminster commentators say that this was a tactical move to avoid a split within the Conservative Party but is rumoured that Mrs May was upset by the Prime Minister's intervention because she believes that it undermined her authority. As mentioned above Mrs May wanted her party to vote against the amendment.

When the vote was held, Mr Raab's amendment was defeated because Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs voted against it so will not become law.



Cameron increasingly alienated from right wing

But Westminster commentators say that the whole episode shows that Mr Cameron is becoming increasingly alienated from the right wing of his own party who are virulently opposed to the European Union and to immigration, which they see as being out of the UK's control because it is a member of the European Union.

The Shadow Immigration Minister, Labour's Yvette Cooper, accused Mr Cameron of being 'scared of his own backbenchers'. A spokesman for the anti-EU UK Independence Party said that Mr Cameron had 'lost the plot'.

Matthew Parris, a former Conservative MP and political commentator said that there was now a 'fifth column' of Conservative backbenchers which hates the EU and wants to destroy David Cameron because they do not trust him to allow a referendum on the UK's membership of the Union.



Religious fanaticism

Mr Parris wrote 'We are dealing here with a quasi-religious fanaticism…they will not rest until he's gone.' The bill will now go to the House of Lords where the Lords will debate the bill and, no doubt, propose various amendments to it.

The current main clauses in the bill provide
  • Many immigrants will have to pay a £200 per year levy to be able to use the UK's National Health Service
  • Landlords will be required to check the immigration status of anyone they intend to let a property to to ensure that the prospective tenant has the right to reside in the UK
  • Banks will be required to check new customers' immigration status to ensure that they are in the UK legally before allowing them to open a bank account
  • The grounds for appeal against an order for deportation will be reduced from 17 to four
  • Foreign criminals will be deported before their appeal against deportation is heard. They will then be allowed to pursue their appeal from their home country and will be readmitted if their appeal is successful.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our UK page for more information:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

London tech firms call for UK immigration reform

A UK group which lobbies on behalf of technology start-up companies has called for a reform to the UK's employment-based immigration system to allow firms in the sector to recruit the best talent.

Russ Shaw of Tech London Advocates told Computer Weekly magazine 'We'd love to have a lot more home-grown talent but we need to supplement that with global talent to build and grow these businesses. We need to adjust the immigration policies and many other things'.

Mr Shaw told Computer Weekly that he had already held meetings with the Home Office and said that he was hopeful that some changes would be introduced within the next year. He said that there were also other problems that would not be addressed so quickly.



Silicon Roundabout

Mr Shaw said that it is London's success as a centre for tech start-ups, particularly in East London in the Silicon Roundabout district around Old Street, that has created the demand for international talent.

In December 2013, the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new 'tech visa' which will allow 'exceptionally talented' IT workers to apply for UK visas. There is no news yet about how many of these visas will be available but it is unlikely that it will be more than 300-400 per year.

The 'tech visa' announced by David Cameron last year is a welcome innovation but it will not come close to closing the skills gap. IT is one of the UK's real success stories. There are 90,000 IT firms and over 500,000 people working in the industry in London alone.



Tech visa 'will not undo the damage'

'Many of these firms are crying out for workers but they can't get them. Three or four hundred more workers will not solve that problem. In the past, many IT workers came to the UK from countries such as India, Australia and New Zealand.

'But Mr Cameron's government closed the Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa streams. Those workers now find it much more difficult to work in the UK. The tech visa will not undo that damage'.

Mr Cameron's government also introduced an annual cap of 20,700 on the number of Tier 2 (General) skilled worker visas that can be issued annually. This cap has never been reached so the government would no doubt argue that the imposition of the cap has not damaged the industry.



Changes are harming smaller firms

However, Eric van der Kleij, the boss of the L39 investment tech investment company has indicated to Computer Weekly magazine that the cap is damaging smaller firms because there is evidence that, since the introduction of the cap, the UK's Home Office has made it considerably more difficult to jump through all the hoops in order to get a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Mr van der Kleij said that it is understandable that the UK should have strict immigration controls but says that the effect of the current complex visa rules is to skew the system in favour of richer, larger companies.

This is because it takes a great deal of work to complete a UK visa application. Sanwar Ali said 'The UK Visa application is only part of the process. You need to have a sponsorship licence, and allocate a certificate of sponsorship and quite likely advertise as well. It is very bureaucratic and time consuming'.



Small firms unable to afford visa application process

All this means that small start-up tech firms are often unable to afford the expense of applying for visas for much needed staff. Mr van der Kleij told Computer Weekly that he believes that the UK government should set up a panel of experts to advise tech firms on how to employ workers from outside the European Union.

He suggested that providing these firms with subsidised immigration advice would help them compete. 'You should spend the money on helping younger companies use the system' he said.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our UK page for more information:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

US Republicans release 'Standards for Immigration Reform'

On January 30th 2014, senior Republicans in Washington released a one-page document 'Standards for Immigration Reform' which sets out the principles behind their efforts to pass immigration reform in the House of Representatives (known as 'The House') in the coming months.

The statement was launched by the 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and the Speaker of the House John Boehner, two senior Republicans who favour immigration reform. It lays out the principles behind immigration reform for House Republicans and outlines laws that they would like to see passed.

The document does not necessarily have the support of all Republicans in the House but they would not have been released by Mr Boehner unless he believed that he could unite his party behind the principles contained in the document. The document seems to support legislation which would:
  • Increase border security and biometric testing for those entering the US
  • Reform the US legal immigration system to favour employment-based immigration over family migration. The Green Card Lottery would also be scrapped
  • Allow illegal immigrants who came to the US as children with their parents to apply for citizenship if they graduate from university or serve in the military
  • Allow other illegal immigrants (with no criminal records) to 'live legally and without fear' in the US. In essence, this seems to propose some kind of legal residence status that falls short of citizenship. People in this category would not have access to government benefits.



Initial reaction mixed

Initial reaction to the document suggests that right-wing 'Tea Party' Republicans oppose the plan because it is too soft on illegal immigration while Democrats say the plans do not go far enough. It seems that Congress may well be unable to agree on the Republican plans.

This would not be surprising. Since 2009, there has been little agreement between Republicans and Democrats on any subject. The divide between the parties has been particularly wide on immigration. Both parties say they want to reform the US's immigration system which they agree is 'broken' but they have been poles apart on what should be done about it.

The division is widest in the House of Representatives where many Republicans are now sympathetic to the radical right-wing movement The Tea Party. The Tea Party opposes 'big government'. It is a grass roots movement and has no manifesto but it is broadly, anti-tax, anti-'socialism' and anti-immigration.



Tea Party wants illegal immigrants to leave

Tea Party-backed Republicans are particularly opposed to illegal immigration. There are thought to be 11.5m illegal immigrants living in the US and the Tea Party would, on the whole, like to see them all leave.

However, even the most ardent opponents of immigration accept that it would be impossible to expel so many people. So, instead, they favour policies that would encourage 'self-deportation'. That is, they would like to make it so difficult to live in the US as an illegal resident that illegal residents would decide to leave voluntarily.

This became yet another point of opposition between Republicans and Democrats at the 2012 election. The Republican nominee Mitt Romney espoused 'self-deportation' policies while President Obama campaigned promising to create 'a pathway to citizenship' for many of the illegal immigrants in the US. To qualify, illegal residents would have to:
  • Pay a fine for entering the country illegally
  • Learn English if necessary
  • Pay a sum to compensate the US for the tax not paid while they were working illegally
  • Wait in line for at least 13 years.



Romney caught between rock and hard place

Mr Romney had to promise 'self-deportation' to win the support of Tea Party sympathisers but, Republican strategists believe, in doing so, he may well have lost the election.

This is because 'self-deportation' policies are unpopular with most Americans and particularly with Hispanic voters. Hispanic voters voted overwhelmingly for President Obama (78% voted for him against a mere 21% who voted for Mr Romney).

This is because some 80% of illegal residents are ethnically Hispanic and many, perhaps most, US citizens of Hispanic descent know at least one illegal immigrant. If 50% of Hispanics had voted for Mr Romney, he would have won.



Hispanics are fastest growing minority

To make matters worse for the Republicans, Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the US. Some Republican strategists believe that the Republicans must now make a choice between pandering to the anti-immigrant Tea Party and seeing a Republican president in the White House ever again.

Republicans in the House therefore are in a difficult position, needing to find a way to reach out to Hispanic voters while maintaining the support of their Tea Party supporters on the right. Thus, MR Boehner and Mr Ryan attempted to appeal to Tea Party sentiments.

In the preamble to the statement it says 'The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America's national interests and that is not the case today'.



'Step-by-step, common sense approach'

The statement says, 'our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country's borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures'.

The call for a 'step-by-step' approach indicates that Republicans in the House will not support a comprehensive reform bill which has already been passed by the Senate. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act was passed by the Senate in June 2013.

It would:
  • Increase in border security spending of $4.5bn
  • Create a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal immigrants with clean criminal records. To qualify, immigrants would have to learn English, pay a fine and back taxes on illegal earnings
  • Allow foreign students with Masters degrees and PhDs from US universities to apply for US permanent resident visas ('green cards')
  • Allow many more foreign workers with 'specialty knowledge' to apply for H-1B temporary work. The existing current annual cap of 65,000 could rise to 180,000. A cap of 20,000 for those with higher degrees would be scrapped
  • Require US employers to check the immigration status of all workers against the online E-Verify system before employing them.



Obama 'will work with Republicans'

President Obama has said that he is willing to work with the House on a series of single issue bills.

The leader of the Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi, told journalists that Democrats will reject any bill that does not establish a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants whether they came to the US as adults or children.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United States. Please visit our USA page for more information:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

UKs Lib Dems to woo EU immigrants for Euro elections

A senior member of the Liberal Democratic Party, the UK's third biggest political party, has urged Liberal Democrat activists to 'keep engaging' with eastern European communities in the UK to help it in the European elections this May.

The EU elections will decide which parties hold the UK's 73 seats in the European Parliament. EU citizens living in the UK will have the right to vote in the elections.

Issan Ghazni is the chairman of the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats. He will also stand as a candidate for the party in the East Midlands at the European elections. He wrote an article on the party's LibDemVoice website in which he said that the party must 'get smarter about our strategy'.



Domesday predictions

Mr Ghazni notes that there are 'Domesday predictions in the media that Liberal Democrats are set to lose all our MEPs to UKIP'.

Currently, the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron holds 26 seats. UKIP and the UK's official opposition, the Labour Party both hold 13 seats and the Liberal Democrats hold 11 seats.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is a right-wing party which calls for the UK to leave the European Union and for a reduction in immigration. Much of UKIP's support is probably 'a protest vote' against the UK's Coalition government which consists of the Conservatives of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats.



UKIP's anti-immigration support

A significant proportion of UKIP's support seems to depend on its anti-immigration stance. Polls show that about 75% of the UK population believes that there is too much immigration into the UK. UKIP argues that the UK should leave the EU and that If it did so, citizens of the EU would no longer be able to easily live and work in the UK.

Polls show that UKIP is likely to come second to the Labour Party in the European elections, beating Mr Cameron's Conservatives into third place and the Liberal Democrats into a distant fourth.

Mr Ghazni dismisses the polls as 'wide of the mark' but says that the Liberal Democrats must work hard to mobilise the pro-European vote. He says that 'millions of jobs for British citizens depend on trade with Europe' as do 'jobs in industries like Lincolnshire farms who struggle to hire British-born workers'.



'In Europe, In Work'

The Liberal Democrats' campaign slogan is 'In Europe, In Work'. Mr Ghazni says that this is 'a powerful statement about where we stand' but says that it needs to be 'supplemented by targeted messaging'.

He says that, the Liberal Democrats, the most pro-European of the main parties in the UK, should try to attract support from the many eastern Europeans who have come to the UK to live and work since their countries joined the EU in 2004.

He says 'As a Euro candidate in the East Midlands I am particularly keen to pay attention to the large number of Eastern European workers. They have the right vote for their MEP but many are unsure whether they can so have not joined the electoral roll'.




He says that he recently visited Boston, a small market town in the rural county of Lincolnshire. The town is home to a very large eastern European population. He says 'I recently visited five Eastern European coffee shops [in Boston] to talk with migrant workers.

As soon as they heard the Lib Dems' pro-Europe message of supporting the free movement of goods and labour they were eager to vote for us'.

'However many Eastern Europeans are unaware they had a vote. We need to spread the news that they can vote so long as they register' Mr Ghazni says.



Immigration changing UK society

Mr Ghazni's article provides valuable information on the extent to which immigration has changed and will continue to change UK society.

He says 'Eastern Europeans will become more established in future decades. Securing their support today, at a time when they are repelled by the anti-immigration climate, will serve us well in future elections. And it may just take us over the winning post in May.'

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our UK page for more information:

Monday, February 17, 2014

UK immigration minister resigns after employing illegal immigrant

The UK's immigration minister, Mark Harper MP, has resigned after revealing that, for seven years, he had been employing an immigrant with no right to work in the UK.

Mr Harper said that he had done nothing illegal but said that 'as Immigration Minister…I should hold myself to a higher standard than expected in others'. Mr Harper was responsible for driving the Coalition government's controversial new Immigration Bill through parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron accepted Mr Harper's resignation 'with regret'.



Landlords to be required to check tenants' immigration status

The Immigration Bill contains some controversial clauses including one which will require landlords to carry out checks on all prospective tenants before renting them a property. Landlords groups say that landlords are not experts in immigration law and cannot be expected to tell whether or not documents are genuine.

Ironically, it seems that Mr Harper may have fallen foul of a forged document himself.
The news of Mr Harper's resignation emerged on Saturday 8th February 2010. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Harper said that he had asked the unnamed woman for proof that she was entitled to work in the UK when he first employed her as the cleaner at his London flat in 2007.


Indefinite leave to remain

Mr Harper claims that, at the time, she had presented him with a letter from the Home Office saying that she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK. As required by law, he says, he took copies of this letter and employed her.

Later, in 2013, while piloting the Immigration Bill through parliament, he said, 'I thought it prudent to check that all my documents were in order for my cleaner. I undertook an extensive search to locate the copies of documents I had taken but unfortunately I was unable to locate them'.

Consequently, he asked his cleaner for further copies of the same documents which were provided on 4th and 5th of February 2014.



Cleaner did not have ILR

Mr Harper told the Prime Minister, 'On 5 February, I asked my private office to check the details with immigration officials to confirm that all was in order. I was informed on the morning of 6 February that my cleaner did not, in fact, have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom. I immediately notified the Home Secretary and my Permanent Secretary'.

Mr Harper gave the details of the unnamed woman, who is from Colombia, to the UK's border enforcement authorities.

Labour's shadow immigration minister David Hanson said 'I understand and respect the decision Mark Harper has taken today.



Harper in 'a difficult position'

'As immigration minister he has argued in parliament for landlords to be required to carry out checks on every tenant. So this information about Mark Harper's employee does put him in a difficult position'.

Shami Chakrabarti is the civil rights group Liberty was less charitable. She said that it was a 'bitter irony' that Mr Harper should 'fall foul of a mad and toxic immigration debate' which he had helped to create as a member of the Coalition government.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United Kingdom. Please visit our UK page for more information:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Increased chance of US immigration reform in 2014

There are signs that the Republican leadership in Congress is serious about delivering immigration reform in 2014 though it seems that, if it comes, it may not be on President Obama's terms.

Republican insiders in Washington say that John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives (or 'The House' as it is known)told Republican Representatives that senior Republicans will lay out a series of 'principles for immigration legislation' early in 2014, perhaps even before the start of February.

The House is preparing, insiders say, to introduce reforms which could
  • Make it easier for US firms to hire specialist workers from abroad (particularly in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
  • Increasing border security to prevent further illegal immigration
  • Improve the E-Verify system so that firms would be able to check the immigration status of workers before employing them
  • Increase the number of visas available for low-skilled workers in construction and agriculture
  • Provide a 'pathway to citizenship' for some of the 11.5m people currently living illegally in the US.



Single issue bills

Republican insiders say that the House intends to introduce a series of single issue bills rather than pass one comprehensive reform bill which would deal with all the issues at once.

This decision puts the House and the Senate and the Democrats and the Republicans at loggerheads.

The Democrats have said that they are not prepared to pass a series of single-issue bills but want to pass one comprehensive reform bill. This is because they do not trust the Republicans to deal with the issue of creating a 'pathway to citizenship' unless that pathway is linked inextricably with other reforms.



Senate bill

And, the Senate has already passed a bill, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act 2013 which deals with all of these issues. The bill was drafted by a bipartisan group of senators, (four Republicans and four Democrats) and has been presented by President Obama as a compromise in which neither party gets everything it wants. The Senate bill is the President's preferred option.

In order to become law, the Senate bill would also have to be passed by the House but Mr Boehner who, as speaker, decides what legislation the House votes on, has refused to allow a vote on this bill.

But some pro-immigration campaigners are optimistic that the Republicans may be ready to create a pathway to citizenship. Angela Kelley of the pro-immigration Center for American Progress said 'Based on what we've heard, the fact that the undocumented are going to be mentioned [by the Republicans] in terms of legalizing, instead of just deporting, is a sea change'.



'Talk is cheap, show us a bill'

Lorella Praeli of another pro-immigration group, United We Dream, on the other hand, was sceptical. 'Talk is cheap, so show us a bill' she said.

Immigration has been an issue that divides the parties in recent years. During the 2012 election campaign, President Obama made a promise to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority during his second term if re-elected.

High on his list of priorities was legislation to allow the 11.5m foreign nationals residing illegally in the US to 'come out of the shadows'.




However, since the rise of the right wing Tea Party' faction in 2009, the Republican Party has become increasingly hostile to any solution to the illegal immigrant question that would create a pathway to citizenship. Republicans, and particularly Tea Party Republicans, see the pathway as an 'amnesty' which rewards people for illegally entering the country.

Since the 2012 election, there has been a stalemate in Congress making it almost impossible to pass any legislation. This is because, in the US system, any legislation must be passed by both houses of Congress; the Senate and the House to become law.

The President can rely on the Senate, to vote with him as it has a small Democrat majority. However, the House has a small Republican majority (234-201). It also has a large number of Tea Party backed candidates who oppose the President at every turn and are opposed to any compromise.



Tea Party opposes immigration

The Tea Party is a grass roots movement that has no written agenda but is broadly opposed to 'big government', taxes, gun control and immigration, particularly illegal immigration and it has pushed the Republican Party to more extreme 'right wing' positions.

For example, in 2012, the Republican challenger for the presidency, Mitt Romney, was obliged to adopt an anti-immigration stance in order to win the backing of Tea Party supporters in primary elections throughout the US. Mr Romney promised that, if he was elected, he would adopt policies aimed at encouraging illegal immigrants in the US to 'self-deport'.

These promises were extremely popular among Tea Party supporters but extremely unpopular among the US's 30m voters of Hispanic descent who voted by 71% to 28% for Mr Obama. This is because 80% of illegal residents are of Hispanic ethnicity. Many Hispanic citizens of the US have friends or family who live in the country illegally.



Obama 'owes victory to Hispanics'

Many pollsters say that it was the support of Hispanic voters which won Mr Obama the election.

Republican strategists have warned that, unless the Grand Old Party (as it is known) supports the creation of a pathway for at least some of the illegal residents, as the Hispanic population of the US grows, it will become almost impossible for a Republican ever to be voted President again.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United States. Please visit our USA page for more information:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UK's attitude to EU immigration hardens

Polls show that almost half of UK citizens do not believe that Romanians and Bulgarians should be allowed to live and work in the UK. More than half of people questioned in another recent poll believe that immigration has had negative consequences for the country.

Another poll suggests that the anti-immigration UK Independence Party may come second in the UK's elections for the European Parliament in May this year. This is likely to result in the UK's Coalition government trying to show itself to be more 'anti-immigrant' to try to win back votes.

Polls also provide a possible explanation for the UK's anti-immigration sentiment; most Britons believe that there are many more immigrants living in the country than is actually the case. This is probably because the UK media present a somewhat one-sided version of the truth.



Three quarter of Britons want cut in immigration

A BBC poll conducted early in January 2014 showed that over three quarters of those questioned wanted immigration cut. 56% wanted it reduced 'a lot' and a further 21% wanted it reduced 'a little'.

The poll, produced for a BBC programme, The Truth About Immigration, showed that even some of those who believe that immigration is good for the economy want the number of immigrants coming to the UK reduced. Only 4% of those questioned wanted immigration to increase.

Among lower-qualified people, the anti-immigration sentiment was even more extreme. 85% of those with no qualifications wanted to see immigration reduced and 88% of those in manual jobs want a reduction.



Low-skilled immigrants from EU

This may have something to do with the fact that, in recent years, a large number of immigrants have come from eastern Europe to work in lower skilled and manual work.

This has had the effect, some believe, of placing downward pressure on wages for lower skilled work, such as painting and decorating and catering work.

Also, polling shows that Britons tend to overestimate the number of immigrants in the country. An Ipsos-Mori poll carried out in July 2013 showed that many Britons believe that about 30% of the UK's population is now made up of immigrants.



One eighth of UK population born abroad

In fact, analysis of census data shows that only 13% or one eighth of the population was born abroad.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) seems to be benefiting from this anti-immigration sentiment. In a poll conducted by pollsters YouGov, 28% of respondents stated that they intended to vote for UKIP in the May European Parliament elections, which puts UKIP in second place behind the Labour Party on 32%.

The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, attracted only 23% of those surveyed. Some of this support can be accounted for by general dissatisfaction with the Coalition government (in which the Conservatives are the senior partners to the Liberal Democrats) but some will be due to UKIP's strongly anti-immigration stance.



UKIP supports immigration moratorium

The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, told the BBC early in January 2014 that he would support a moratorium on permanent immigration for five years, even if this would damage the economy.

Mr Farage said that, during the five year period when no permanent immigration would be allowed, skilled workers would still be able to come to work in the UK using temporary work permits; this would not lead to permanent residence at a later date.

He said 'If you said to me do you want to see another five million people come to Britain, and if that happened we would all be slightly richer, I would say, 'Do you know what? I would rather we were not slightly richer. I would rather we had communities that were rather more united and we had a situation where young unemployed British people had a realistic chance of getting a job'.



Majority approve of skilled immigration

Despite the general consensus against mass immigration, a consistent majority of those questioned in UK polls say they approve of skilled immigration, no matter where it comes from.

In the recent British Social Attitudes Survey carried out by NatCen Social Research, 63% were in favour of skilled migrants from eastern Europe coming to do jobs in the UK. 67% think students should come to study in the UK if they have good grades.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

US government report calls for reform of L-1 visa to prevent fraud

A report prepared by the Inspector General of the US's Department of Homeland Security has called for reform of the L-1 intra-company transfer visa system.

In particular, it is calling for 'more rigorous consideration of new office petitions to reduce fraud and abuse' and a consistent application of 'anti job-shop' rules amid fears that international outsourcing companies are using the visa to transfer cheaper workers from elsewhere into the US.

L-1 visas are used by international companies with operations in the US. These companies are able to transfer workers from other countries to work in the US using L-1 visas. There are two types of L-1 visas; L-1A visas for managers which last for seven years and L-1B visas for workers who have 'specialized knowledge'. L-1B visas last for five years.



'Anti-job shop provisions'

The 2004 Visa Reform Act introduced 'anti-job shop' provisions which were designed to prevent international companies with US operations from acting as 'jobshops' or recruiting agencies. The Act stipulated that international companies could not bring workers to the US who would then work permanently for a third, unrelated firm. (However, it is permissible for those in the US with L-1 visas to carry out project work for client companies in the US).

However, the Inspector General's report says that most L-1 visas are still issued to international outsourcing companies and says that there is, therefore, a danger at least that the 'anti-job-shop' rules are not being effectively applied. The report makes 10 recommendations to ensure that these provisions are applied.

The Inspector General recommends that USCIS should
  • Publish new guidance to clarify interpretation of the term 'specialized knowledge'
  • Screen L-1 applicants against a list of people already refused L-1 visas
  • Provide thorough training for all officers processing L-1 travellers
  • Create regulations governing anti-job shop provisions to increase consistency of decision making
  • Update existing guidance on job-shop provisions.



Tata and Cognizant

The companies that use the most L-1 visas tend to be outsourcing companies. Between 2002 and 2011 Tata Consulting Services, an Indian outsourcing company, received 26,000 L-1 visas. Cognizant, an international outsourcing company founded in the UK but now headquartered in New Jersey in the US received 20,000 and IBM India received 5,722. The top five recipients of L-1 visas were

L-1A petitionsL-1B petitionsTotal
Tata Consultancy Services7,57118,33725,908
Cognizant Tech Solutions1,52118,19819,719
IBM India Private Ltd4465,2765,722
Wipro Ltd1,5743,9335,507
Infosys Technologies Ltd203,3954,015

Source: USCIS

IEEE-USA, the lobbying arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has called for reform of the L-1 system. Marc Apter, president of the organisation said 'outsourcers have come to dominate the L-1 visa program in exactly the same they dominate the H-1B'.



L-1 has become 'tool for shipping US jobs overseas'

He added 'The IG report documents the increasing concerns that we have been hearing from our members that this sensible program for international managers and specialists has become a tool for shipping American jobs overseas'. USCIS has said that it agrees with the recommendations contained within the report and is working on a response.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United States. Please visit our USA page for more information:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Canadian immigration 'discriminating against PhD students'

PhD graduates of the University of Toronto have complained that they have been wrongly rejected after applying for permanent residence visas under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Two students have taken their complaint to a Canadian newspaper to try to raise publicity about their. They claim that many others have been similarly turned down.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is Canada's main skilled immigration programme. It allows highly qualified people to apply for permanent residence visas. Applicants can apply for a visa in one of three categories:
  • The eligible occupations category' which allows those who have a qualification and at least two years' work experience in an occupation which is found on the Canadian 'eligible occupations list'. 5,000 visas can be issued each year in this stream.
  • Those with an offer of skilled work in Canada. The Canadian employer will also need to obtain a 'Labour Market Opinion' to show that there are no Canadian workers available to do the job.
  • International students who have graduated from, or enrolled in, a PhD course at a Canadian university. 1,000 visas are available annually in this stream.

The two students, Greg Lusk from the US and Nicolas Sanchez-Guerrero from Colombia, studied for PhDs at the University of Toronto. They applied for visas under the FSWP and were both, in time, rejected.



PhD students 'systematically rejected'

After his rejection, Sanchez-Guerrero and two fellow students who had been rejected wrote to Canadian MP Olivia Chow to complain about their rejection. They wrote 'We think that candidates in this category are being systematically rejected'.

To qualify for a visa under the FSWP, candidates must score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points in a 'points-based test' which awards them points under the following categories
  • Skill in English and/or French
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Age
  • Previous employment in Canada
  • Adaptability.



Applicants had sufficient points

Both Sanchez-Guerrero and Lusk claim that they have the qualities to earn them more than sufficient points. Both made applications and were rejected. Lusk was rejected on the ground that he had not provided evidence that he was a PhD student. He says that he was and he had.
Sanchez-Guerrero was initially accepted under the FSWP but was told, 18 months later, that he had scored only 66 points and therefore did not qualify.

When he received his forms back, he found that he had been awarded no points for educational experience in Canada even though he had studied in Canada for five years. This should have awarded him more than enough points to qualify.



Applications wrongly refused

Both students say they have incurred considerable expense in applying for their visas and are aggrieved that their applications were refused on factually incorrect grounds. They both took their case to The Toronto Star newspaper to try to raise publicity for their cases.

CIC refused to accede to a request from the Toronto Star to reveal how many FSWP visas have been issued to PhD students.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Australian industry lobbies for increase in immigration

The Australian Industry Group, (Ai Group) a pressure group that lobbies on behalf of Australian industry, has called on the country's Coalition government to raise the number of immigrants admitted each year from 190,000 annually to 220,000 with immediate effect.

The Chief Executive of Ai Group, Innes Willox, has written to the Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison urging the government to increase skilled immigration in particular.

In his letter, dated 19th December 2013, Mr Willox says that immigration is necessary 'to support positive growth in our population and especially in our adult workforce, due to relatively low rates of natural population growth'.



Deepening impacts

He says that Australia is facing 'deepening impacts' from the fact that the native work force is ageing. 9% of Australian employees are over 60 and 17% are aged 55 or more.

There are also skills shortages in 'key growth industries' such as 'mining services, engineering, infrastructure and health services'.

Mr Willox also predicts an upturn in the Australian housing construction sector as the global economy continues to recover in 2014 and 2015 which will lead to further skills shortages. There will also be severe skills shortages in the mining sector which is expected to grow strongly, he says.



Skills shortages increasing

Mr Willox writes that Ai Group surveys of industrial employers show that over two thirds of Australian construction employers experienced difficulty in finding skilled workers with the right skills in the six months to September 2013 (67.7%), up 2% from the previous survey six months earlier.

The letter says that skills shortages are 'even more serious in relation to occupations requiring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills which Mr Willox says is 'deeply concerning'.

He cites research from the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency which predicts that Australia will need 2.8m workers with 'higher-skilled qualifications' by 2025.



Australia needs more skilled workers

For Australia to provide these workers from among the native population, it would have to increase the number of Australians leaving the education system with 'higher skills' by 3% every year until 2025.

Mr Willox says that 'a larger skilled migration program will be necessary to manage this situation and to assist in smoothing the path to future growth across the economy'.

There is some evidence that immigration minister Mr Morrison may be receptive to the Ai Group's suggestions. He has already taken steps to increase the number of skilled migrants coming to Australia.



Skilled immigration accounts for two thirds of total

The Coalition government has announced that the skilled migration stream will now account for over two thirds of immigration in the 2013-14 economic year.

Mr Morrison told The Australian newspaper on January 2nd 2014 '"The economic contribution of skilled migration exceeds all other forms of migration. Skilled migrants have the lowest rate of unemployment and the strongest English skills - key drivers of successful integration into society'.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Australia. Please visit our Australian page for more information:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Immigration New Zealand to reassess 'hundreds' of partnership visas

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is to reassess hundreds of Family Stream visa applications after an investigation into the criteria used by staff to make their decisions.

Doubts about the correctness of the decisions first began to arise in 2013 after 14 people whose applications for visas had been rejected complained to the New Zealand Immigration Ombudsman.

The 14 decisions were all made by staff at INZ offices in Mumbai and New Delhi.
The Immigration Ombudsman then contacted INZ on behalf of the fourteen complainants. After an investigation, INZ accepted that the decisions to refuse the visas were taken on incorrect criteria.



Nearly 500 applications may have been 'wrongly refused'

A further investigation at INZ's Indian offices revealed that a further 60 applications may have been wrongly refused. INZ then expanded its investigation to other offices. It now believes that a further 459 applications may have been incorrectly refused since July 2011.

The applications were for Partnership-based Temporary Visas granted under the family stream. Where a foreign national has a visa allowing them to reside in New Zealand, such as a student visa for example, their partner may apply for a temporary visa to accompany them. Some partners are allowed to work while in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Herald reports that one applicant for a partnership-based visa, Naresh Kumar, applied to join his wife Manisha Bhatia in Hamilton where she was studying a graduate diploma in sport and exercise science. Mr Kumar was refused a visa on the basis that his relationship was not genuine.



Lived together for six months

INZ refused to change its decision even when Ms Bhatia provided evidence that the couple had lived together for six months after being married in 2011.

INZ has written to Ms Bhatia telling her she is eligible for reassessment but saying that her case will not be reopened because she has made a fresh application for a partnership visa.

Ms Bhatia and Mr Kumar say that they will now attempt to reclaim the fees for the first two applications which were wasted.



Reassessment process has begun

Michael Carley, an area manager for INZ told journalists '"A dedicated team of immigration officers not involved in any previous decisions relating to the cases has begun the reassessment process. INZ would like to apologise for this error and wants to reassure affected customers that their applications will be reassessed as a matter of priority by dedicated specialists in our Indian offices.

'Extra staff training has taken place in India following this case. We place huge importance on our customer service and we are confident that these changes will result in a big improvement'.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in New Zealand. Please visit our New Zealand page for more information:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Australian immigration force accused of breaching refugee treaty

Indonesia is investigating claims from asylum seekers that Australian border guards intercepted boats sailing from Indonesian waters attempting to reach Australian territory; they then forced the boats to return to Indonesian waters by force.

There are reports that Australian vessels fired into the air above the heads of asylum seekers to 'encourage them' to turn back. This would be contrary to the 1951 Refugee Convention, of which Australia is a signatory.

Australia has also admitted that Australian government vessels have 'inadvertently' entered Indonesian territorial waters. Australia has issued a formal apology to the Indonesian government.



Indonesian/Australian relations have deteriorated

Relations between Australia and Indonesia have deteriorated since September 2013 when the Coalition was elected as the new government of Australia. The Coalition promised, during the election campaign, to take steps to prevent asylum seekers from reaching Australia.

The Coalition appointed Lieutenant General Angus Campbell to head Operation Sovereign Borders. The operation is intended to prevent people smugglers from successfully bringing asylum seekers to Australian territory.

Operation Sovereign Borders is a multi-agency operation which employs the Australian navy, immigration officers and police. The Australian Chief of Navy, Admiral Griggs has contacted the chief of the Indonesian navy to explain how 'positional errors' which were 'in breach of Australian government policy' occurred.



'We regret any affront to Indonesia' - Campbell

Lieutenant General Campbell told journalists 'We have never intended for our assets to operate or to enter the sovereign territory of another nation. Our people on these vessels believe they were at all times outside Indonesian waters. I'm sure all those involved…regret any affront to Indonesia'.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison also admitted that Australian vessels have encroached into Indonesian waters and has told journalists that an official apology has been delivered to the Indonesian government.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian authorities are investigating allegations that boats were illegally turned back by Australian forces. One boat was, according to those on board, within sight of Christmas Island when it was intercepted and taken back to international waters. The boat, according to those on board, had insufficient fuel and drifted for six days.



Migrants 'held on Australian naval vessels'

Several migrants have claimed that the boats they were on were intercepted by Australian naval vessels. One such migrant claims he and his fellow passengers were held on an Australian vessel for several days before being returned to Indonesian waters.

They were then put into small lifeboats and left some distance off the coast in Indonesian waters; to reach Indonesia would take about three hours by boat.

While Mr Morrison has apologised for the Australian incursion into Indonesian waters, he has not apologised for other actions taken as part of Operation Sovereign Borders.



Morrison refuses to comment

Mr Morrison has refused to comment on allegation that Australian forces have been turning back the boats. He told journalists that Australia would continue with the operation which was 'having a significant impact on the activities of people smugglers.

He said that people smugglers, and those intending to seek asylum should be aware that 'this Australian government will take the actions necessary to protect Australian sovereignty [and] to stop the boats'.

General Campbell also refused to comment on the allegations but he did confirm that Australian forces have bought a consignment of lifeboats.




Many people from all over Asia make their way to Indonesia and pay people smugglers fees of around $10,000 to take them by boat to Australian territory.

The most popular route is from the island of Java to the remote Australian outpost, Christmas Island. Christmas Island is 2,700 miles North West of the Western Australian capital Perth but only 500km from Java.

Under international law, if a migrant arrives in a country and claims asylum, that country cannot summarily turn him back until that claim has been properly investigated.




The Australian opposition leader, Bill Shorten told journalists 'Scott Morrison's arrogance is damaging our relationship with Indonesia. They [the government] are trying to blame the navy for Abbott government (the Coalition is headed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott) policies'.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Australia. Please visit our Australian page for more information:

Monday, February 3, 2014

UK employers believe migrants have better skills and motivation

A poll conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has found that a majority of UK employers believe that immigrants have better qualifications, skills and motivation than British workers.

The poll was conducted by the CIPD's research department to examine the impact of immigration on the British labour market. The report states that, since 2002, the number of jobs in the UK economy has grown by 1.7m but the number of UK born people in work has actually fallen slightly because foreign-born workers are filling the positions.

In recent years, MPs and other public figures have asked why foreign workers seem to find it easier to find work in the UK than Britons. It would seem, after all, that Britons should have a considerable advantage, because of their familiarity with the language and culture.



UK schools turning out 'poorly educated' young adults

In December 2013, Professor David Metcalf, the chairman of the government's Migration Advisory Committee told a committee of MPs that he thought that UK schools were turning out poorly educated and poorly educated young adults.

He also suggested that the UK's benefits system might disincentivise some young Britons from working because if they come off benefits to take temporary work, they will then find it very difficult to get benefits again when the temporary work ends. .

The CIPD conducted research into employers' attitudes and found that foreign-born workers were preferred for a variety of reasons.



Reasons for preferring foreign-born workers

Better job-specific or practical skills56
More work experience25
Better prepared for work26
Work ethic34
More affordable18
Better qualifications23
Language skills18
Better generic soft skills (for example communication, team working)13

When employing low skilled workers from within the EU, employers also told the CIPD that they preferred EU workers for a variety of reasons. The main one is that UK-born workers tend to stay for less long in a position. The CIPD identifies several possible reasons for this
  • Poor image of the sector (retail, hospitality)
  • Failure of the employer to tell those at entry level about the possibility of promotion and training
  • Pay and employment conditions



'A disciplinary issue'

One HR manager of a hotel chain told the CIPD ''When we do employ UK workers, they either don't stay or, worst-case scenario, it becomes a disciplinary issue, whether it is for lateness or something else…Once they [migrant workers] know that they've got a job then they do it well, and there are no concerns'.

Other employers told the CIPD that they tend to use 'network hiring' where existing employees refer their friends for job vacancies. When firms use this method of sourcing workers, it tends to mean that they will hire more and more immigrant workers. One manager told the CIPD 'a recommendation like that from someone, who has got a reputation of being a hard worker themselves ... it sounds good'.

When employing skilled workers from beyond the EU, employers gave other reasons.



Reasons for preferring non-EU workers

Better job related skills 38%
Better qualifications 16%
Better prepared for work 12%
Language skills 10%
Cheaper 8%
Lower staff turnover 6%
Better 'soft skills' (those with better interpersonal skills)3%

Since 2010, the UK's Coalition government has taken steps to reduce immigration from outside the EU. It has;
  • Abolished the Tier 1 (General) visa for foreign graduates
  • Abolished the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa which allowed international graduates of UK universities to work in the UK for two years after graduation
  • Introduced a cap of 20,700 on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas for skilled workers that can be issued each year. This cap has never been reached.
  • Removed the sponsorship licences from over 500 further education colleges which prevents them from sponsoring international students for Tier 4 student visas.



58% of employers will continue employing non-EU workers

Even so, a majority of those employers interviewed for the CIPD survey say that government policy had not affected them when it comes to employing non-EU workers; 58% of employers surveyed said they would continue to employ non-EU workers as before.

It is possible that these employers have not been adversely affected by government policy. While there is anecdotal evidence that some employers are finding it increasingly difficult to employ workers with Tier 2 (General) visas, the annual cap has never been reached since 2010.

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