Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Canadian immigration announces new and quicker 'Express Entry' system

Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander has announced that Canada will introduce its new 'active recruitment' immigration system in January 2015. It will be known as 'Express Entry' and will be similar to Australia's SkillSelect skilled immigration system.

Mr Alexander's predecessor Jason Kenney began work on the new system in 2012. It has been known as the Expression of Interest system until now. Mr Alexander says that he believes that the new system will be 'a game changer' which will 'revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants, and get them working here faster'.

The new system aims to make it much quicker for skilled foreign workers to gain permanent residence visas than before. Mr Alexander says that he hopes that a successful applicant will have his/her application processed in six months once Express Entry is up and running.



Four immigration programs

The system will be used by applicants in four current immigration programs
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program - this is Canada's main skilled immigration programme. About 55,000 people gain visas each year under this program. The three sub-streams are as follows:
    • 5,000 visas available annually for applicants skilled in one of 24 'eligible occupations'. Many engineering and medical occupations are on the list.
    • Unlimited number of visas available for applicants who have an offer of skilled employment in Canada. This stream accounts for the great majority of FSWP visas.
    • Unlimited number of visas available for those studying for a PhD at a Canadian university or for those who have recently received a PhD.
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program - This allows up to 3,000 skilled tradespeople to gain permanent residence visas each year. There are 43 skilled trades on the FSTP occupations list. They include carpenters, plumbers and mechanics
  • The Canadian Experience Class – This stream allows some 12,000 people annually to apply for Canadian permanent residence visas. To qualify, you must have worked in a skilled occupation in Canada for at least 12 months.
  • The Provincial Nominee Programs – Canada is a federal state comprising ten provinces and three territories. Each of them has its own immigration programme. Each province has slightly different requirements for skilled workers. Applicants under the PNP should apply to a provincial or territorial government for nomination. If the applicant meets the provincial/territorial government's requirements, then he/she will usually be nominated for a visa. The applicant then applies to the Federal government's immigration department, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the application processed.



Expression of interest

Under the new Express Entry system, applicants will be able to submit an 'expression of interest' to the Canadian government. They will provide a CV (résumé) and their details will be entered into a database. Employers who are seeking foreign skilled workers will have access to some information from the database and will be able to select suitable candidates.

Those candidates who are not chosen after their profiles have been on the database for some time will be removed from the database. The idea behind the scheme, according to CIC, is to 'allow the government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line'.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lords denounce UK's 'overblown rhetoric' on immigration

Yet another parliamentary committee has criticised the UK's Coalition government for its rhetoric on immigration.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published a report on International Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students on 11th April 2014 which warns that the number of STEM students studying in the UK has fallen considerably since 2010, when the UK's current Coalition government came to power.

The number of STEM students fell by 8% between 2010/11, the year that the government came to power, and 2011/12. It fell by a further 2% in 2012/13 to 52,905 (from 58,815 in 2010). The number of students coming from India has fallen dramatically. It fell by 38% in 2011/12 and a further 28% in 2012/13.



Negative perception

The committee says that this is not necessarily caused by the UK's immigration rules but because of a negative perception about the UK among potential students in many countries. The committee warns that this perception is caused by the tone of the public debate on immigration in the UK.

It warns that in the age of social media such as Twitter, negative comment about a country like the UK can spread between students very quickly.

The committee places the blame for negative views about the UK among students on the government and on the UK press.



'Visa situation in the UK has become too difficult'

The report contains evidence from the Society of Biology saying, 'Our members have told us that central student agencies who guide the students on the best countries in which to study are now directing students to universities elsewhere (e.g. the USA) because in their view the visa situation in the UK has become too difficult'.

The committee warns that the Coalition's policies on immigration and education are 'contradictory'. It says 'The Government are simultaneously committed to reducing net migration and attracting increasing numbers of international students (15–20% over the next five years)'.

During the last general election campaign, the UK's current prime minister, David Cameron, then the leader of the opposition, promised, if elected, to cut net immigration into the UK to below 100,000 annually by 2015 from the then level of 250,000 a year.



Students comprise a majority of non-EU immigrants

But, the committee says that, because new students are counted as immigrants in the national migration figures, and because 'students comprise a majority of non-EU immigrants' to the UK, it follows that 'net migration can only be reduced by reducing the number of international students coming to the UK – contrary to the government's stated policy to grow numbers of international students'.

The committee therefore recommends that the government should remove students from the net migration figures. Failing that, it says that, 'at the very least…when the Government present the net migration figures, they should clearly state what proportion of the sum is students and they should not include student numbers for immigration policy making purposes'.



'Feedstock for a toxic debate over immigration'

It warns 'Including students, who bring so much to the UK economy, in the net migration figures, sees them used as a feedstock for an all too often highly politicised and sometime toxic debate over immigration'.

In March, the parliamentary select committee on soft power made similar recommendations. The Soft Power Committee said that the UK benefitted from the international influence it has thanks to the high number of international leaders who have studied at UK universities.

The committee warned that government policy was putting this influence that the UK currently has internationally at risk. Several other parliamentary committees made the same recommendations last year.



The brightest and the best

The Government does not accept the findings of the Lords Science and Technology Committee report; A Government spokesman said that the UK was both controlling immigration and attracting 'the brightest and the best'.

He went onto say that 'We do not accept that the UK's immigration rules are deterring international students and there is no clear evidence in the report to support that argument. Where some courses and countries have seen falling numbers, other countries and courses are on the rise'.

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Senator urges US Republicans to 'get beyond' illegal immigration

Rand Paul, a right-wing Republican and a potential challenger for the presidency in 2016, has said that the Republican Party has to 'get beyond' its problem with illegal immigration or it will never gain significant support from the Hispanic community.

Mr Paul was speaking at the launch of MRC Latino, a right-wing media lobbying group that will campaign against left-wing bias in the Spanish-speaking media in the US. He said 'The bottom line is the Hispanic community is not going to hear us until we get beyond this issue'.

Mr Paul's intervention is interesting because he is identified with the right-wing 'Tea Party' faction. The Tea Party is a loose affiliation of activists who oppose 'big government'. In general, they oppose tax-rises, cuts in military spending, gun control and immigration, particularly illegal immigration from Mexico.



Hispanics are 'natural Republicans'

Mr Paul believes that there are many 'natural Republicans' among the Hispanic community, even though Hispanic US citizens vote overwhelmingly for the Democrats.

Mr Paul told journalists 'What's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican Party that we care about Hispanics and where they are coming from and what their problems are. Until we get to that point, they are not going to listen to any of the next message'.

At the last presidential election in 2012, Republican challenger Mitt Romney wooed the right wing of the Republican Party, and Tea Party activists, by promising to introduce 'self-deportation' policies to deal with illegal immigration. This would have meant introducing policies which would make life so difficult for illegal residents in the US that they would prefer to leave rather than stay in the US.




At the same election, President Obama, the Democrats' candidate, said that he would, instead, introduce legislation which would lead to an amnesty for many of the US's 11.5m illegal residents.

This gave President Obama a massive advantage with US citizens of Hispanic descent voting in the election.

This is because it is believed that 80% of those living in the US illegally are of Hispanic descent, mostly coming from Mexico and the rest of Latin America. It has been said that most Hispanic US citizens know at least one illegal resident who may very well be a friend or relative, and so are likely to vote for a political party that supports an amnesty for illegal aliens.

It is perhaps for this reason that over 70% of Hispanic voters voted for Mr Obama and only 27% voted for Mr Romney.



5m vote advantage for Obama

There were over 11m Hispanic voters at the election. 8m of them voted for Mr Obama. Only 3m voted for Mr Romney. This granted Mr Obama a 5m vote advantage. He won the popular vote in the election by fewer than 5m votes.

The Hispanic population is the fastest growing sector of the US population. Some Republican strategists therefore believe that unless the Republicans 'reach out' to Hispanic voters, there will never be another Republican president.

Mr Paul told his audience 'there [are] many in the Latino community who go to church and believe in traditional values and who are conservative…Maybe half. Maybe sixty percent … there's enormous upside potential [for Republican support]'.



Paul may antagonise Tea Party

It is unlikely that Mr Paul's words will go down well with many Tea Party supporters.

On 6th April 2014, Jeb Bush, another high-profile Republican and a challenger for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, told Fox News that the Republicans had to drop their 'harsh political rhetoric' on illegal immigration.

Mr Bush said that many illegal immigrants entered the US as 'an act of love' for their families. When the right-wing businessman Donald Trump addressed a Tea Party rally in New Hampshire on Saturday 12th April, the audience booed loudly when he mentioned Mr Bush's name.



Bush could have been 'more artful'

While expressing some support for Mr Bush's views, Mr Paul was also mildly critical of Mr Bush. Paul said that he had said similar things himself but added that Mr Bush could have been 'more artful' in expressing himself.

Mr Paul said; 'I don't want to say, "Oh, he's terrible for saying this". If it were me, what I would have said is, "people who seek the American dream are not bad people...However, we can't invite the whole world"'.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

US immigration announces H-1B visa ballots

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will hold two ballots to allocate this year's quota of H-1B temporary work visas.

In a brief statement issued on 7th April 2014 US immigration had the following to say 'USCIS announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption'.

The H-1B temporary work visa allows foreign workers who are educated to bachelor's degree level (some applicants may be eligible for H-1B visas if they have achieved 'degree equivalence' through a mixture of work experience and qualifications) to apply for visas to work in a 'specialty occupation' in the US.



85,000 H-1Bs available annually

Each year, 65,000 H-1B visas are available for bachelor's degree graduates and a further 20,000 visas are available for applicants with higher degrees such as PhDs and other doctorates.

Each year, USCIS begins accepting applications on the 1st of April (or the first working day thereafter). It continues to accept applications for five working days each year. If, after five days, the cap has not yet been reached, it will continue to accept applications until the cap is reached.

If, however, after five days, sufficient applications to meet the cap have been received, USCIS stops accepting applications. If more applications are received than there are visas available, then USCIS holds either one or two ballots. The applications of those applicants selected in the ballots will then be processed and other applications will be discarded.



Two ballots

If necessary, USCIS holds two ballots; one for applicants with higher degrees and one for other applicants. This year, it will hold two ballots because both the caps have been exceeded.

It will firstly hold a ballot for the higher degree applicants. 20,000 applicants will have their applications processed. All those who are not successful will be entered into the second ballot along with the bachelor's degree applicants. The second ballot will then be held and 65,000 applications will be selected. All others will be discarded.

Last year was the first year for some time that the H-1B applications cap was reached within five working days. USCIS received 124,000 applications in the first five days and held two ballots to distribute the visas.

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UK employs devious means to cut immigration total

The UK's Home Office is under pressure to reduce the net immigration total but the figure is rising. To help reverse the trend, the Home Secretary Theresa May is rumoured to be considering a small change to the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) (Short Term) visa which will, on paper, reduce the number of immigrants in the country by 19,000. But, in reality, there will be the same number of migrants as before.

By changing the maximum stay on the short term ICT visa from 12 months to just under 12 months (say 364 days or eleven months), Mrs May would remove 19,000 people from the immigration figures at a stroke. They will then no longer be classed as 'resident' in the UK and will therefore not be included in the immigration figures.

The Financial Times, a UK newspaper, reports that civil servants at the Home Office have proposed the change in order to reduce the net immigration figure.



'In a pretty dangerous place'

The paper also reports that business opposes the change. It reports that Neil Carberry of the employers' body the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said 'We are in a pretty dangerous place if we are redesigning the tiers of the immigration system in order to meet a political target.

He added 'This would undermine the image of the UK as a place where we welcome highly skilled people'.

The UK's Coalition government has promised to reduce net annual immigration to below 100,000 by 2015. Net annual immigration is calculated by taking the number of people who arrive in the country intending to reside permanently over a given year and subtracting the number of UK residents who leave on a long term basis over the same period.



UN definition

To be classed as a resident when you arrive in the UK, you must be intending to stay in the UK for a year or more. This is the UN definition of a migrant.

Therefore, students who arrive for a three year university course are classed as residents. As most students are in the UK on a temporary basis many Universities and colleges have argued that it is misleading to include students in the immigration figures as permanent immigrants coming to the UK.

Those arriving in the UK on shorter term student visas, however, which last under a year, are not classed as residents and are not included in the migration statistics.



Those staying under one year are excluded from statistics

By altering the maximum stay for short-term Tier 2 (ICT) visa holders to just under one year, therefore, Mrs May would remove all of them from the immigration statistics. About 20,000 short term ICT visas are issued each year.

The UK government wants to reduce immigration; Opinion polls show that a majority of the UK population believes that immigration is too high.

Under the UK's previous Labour government, there was a significant increase in net immigration. Much of this rise was caused by the accession of eight new countries to the European Union in 2004. Unlike many EU countries, the UK did not place any controls on citizens of the new countries coming to live and work in the UK.



Massive underestimate

The Labour government said that they expected 13,000 people to come to the UK to work from the new EU member states each year. In fact, it is estimated that over 600,000 came in the first year.

Under the previous Government there were also many immigrants from outside the European Union. By 2010, net immigration was about 250,000 per year. Mr Cameron said in a BBC (the British public sector broadcaster) program before the last General Election that he would reduce immigration to 'tens of thousands' annually. This was taken to mean below 100,000 a year.

At the 2010 election, Mr Cameron's Conservative Party failed to win an outright majority but was the largest party. It entered into Coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats and Mr Cameron became prime minister.



Immigration reduction measures

His government set about reducing immigration immediately. It;
  • Abolished the Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa. This visa enabled foreign graduates of UK universities to stay in the UK and work for two years after graduation
  • Abolished the Tier 1 (General) visa which allowed 'highly skilled people' (mainly graduates) from around the world to come to the UK and work. The government said that many Tier 1 (General) visa holders were working in low paid jobs in the UK
  • Introduced a cap of 20,700 on the Tier 2 (General) visa for skilled workers. The Home Office has also introduced stringent requirements for applicants making it time-consuming and expensive to apply for these visas. It is for this reason that in reality the cap is never reached
  • Removed the licences from 700 colleges which effectively prevents them from sponsoring foreign students for Tier 4 student visas
  • Prevented UK citizens and permanent residents who earn less than £18,600 a year from bringing foreign born spouses to live in the UK.



Reduced by 100,000

By 2012, the government had succeeded in reducing the net immigration figure by about 100,000 to an estimated 153,000 annually. However, it has since found reductions harder to come by. This is because of two main reasons

  • The government has no control over the number of EU citizens who come to live in the UK. Large parts of continental Europe are in recession and many workers from eastern and southern Europe are coming to the UK to work
  • Fewer UK residents are leaving the country. In fact, this is, in part, because of the government's earlier successes. The UK economy is doing better and so more people have decided to stay in the UK. Therefore with more people deciding to live in the UK on a long term basis and fewer people deciding to leave the UK you see an increase in net immigration.

The latest figures showed that, in the year to September 2013, the net immigration figure is back above 200,000. Experts predict that the figure may well climb back up to 2010 levels making Mr Cameron 'a failure' on immigration.



Electoral defeat

Mr Cameron is also facing the possibility of electoral defeat in the European elections this May. Conservative Party strategists fear that a rise in the net immigration figure could drive some Conservative supporters to vote for the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) in coming elections. UKIP is promising to cut immigration by taking the UK out of the EU.

This, UKIP says, would enable the UK to set its own immigration policy and to cut immigration. A rise in the net immigration figure might encourage more voters who would normally vote Conservative to vote for UKIP instead.

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tea Party holds US to ransom on immigration

In June 2013, the US Senate passed an immigration reform bill; the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act 2013. The bill contained proposals for comprehensive reform of the US's immigration system which is commonly said to be 'broken'.

If it ever becomes law, the Act will
  • Create a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal residents. To join the 'pathway', they would have to pay a $500 fine, learn English and pay back taxes
  • Increase the annual number of H-1B temporary skilled work visas' from 85,000 to over 150,000 annually. This figure could rise above 200,000 if demand was high over several years
  • Increase the cost of L-1 and H-1B visas for firms which had a high proportion of staff in the US with these visas
  • Allow an unlimited number of graduates from US universities with higher degrees to apply for green cards (as US permanent resident visas are called)
  • Increase spending on border security by $4.5bn over the next four years
  • Abolish country quotas for US employment based green cards. Even if this happens there are no proposals to change the overall quota. Therefore processing times could still be some years.



'Pathway to citizenship'

But the Act is not likely to become law. This is because of the proposed 'pathway to citizenship' in the reform bill; an issue on which the Republicans and the Democrats cannot agree.

Both parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, accept that changes to the system are necessary. People in both parties accept that there should be a greater emphasis in the US system on employment-based immigration. The US has one of the lowest percentage of immigrants who enter on employment based immigrant visas in the developed world.

In 2013, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (the OECD) said that only 6% of US immigrants in 2010 and in 2011 were in employment based visa categories. In Canada and Australia, this figure is much closer to 26%.



Republicans and Democrats disagree on pathway

But on the issue of the pathway to citizenship, the two parties are fundamentally opposed to each other.

There are 11.5m illegal residents in the US. Many of them have been there for many years. It is believed that 80% of them are of Hispanic ethnicity and come from Latin America. Over half of them are believed to be Mexican.

At the last presidential election in November 2012, President Obama promised that, if re-elected, he would act to establish a pathway to citizenship. His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, promised, instead, to make life so difficult for illegal residents that they would 'self-deport'. That is, they would leave the country voluntarily.



Hispanic voters opposed 'self-deportation'

This policy was extremely unpopular with US citizens of Hispanic descent. Over 70% of them voted for President Obama. The polls show that this was more than enough votes to win the election for the President. About 11m Hispanic voters voted in the election.

8m of these voted for the president. 3m voted for Mr Romney. Mr Obama won the election by around 2m votes.

But polls show that the 'self-deportation' policy is also unpopular with other US citizens too. A recent poll conducted fr Dox News showed that 80% of Americans support the establishment of a pathway to citizenship for illegal residents who learn to speak English and pay a sum to compensate for any tax they failed to pay while working illegally (if necessary).



Many Republicans support the 'pathway'

Indeed, polls show that many Republicans support the 'pathway'. A poll by the Chicago Council showed that 75% of Republican businessmen in the Chicago area support the establishment of a pathway. Many influential business organisations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, which usually supports Republican candidates at presidential elections, support the pathway.

Businessmen such as Warren Buffett, the world's most successful investor and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook are also supporting reform.

So if 80% of people support the reform, along with business and many churches, what is the problem? The problem is that the US political process has, to some extent, been hijacked by a tiny, but extremely vocal, minority.



Tea Party

This is The Tea Party movement. The Tea Party is a loose association of right wing, anti-government ideologues. They dislike tax and 'big government'. They rose to prominence at about the time that President Obama was first elected.

Many of them are members of the 'birther' movement. Birthers believe that President Obama was not born in the US and is, therefore barred from being President. They believe that Mr Obama forged his Hawaiian birth certificate.

The Tea Party is overwhelmingly white (96%), and religious; 97% are Catholics. It claims to have 15 'non-negotiable Core beliefs'. The first of these is this; 'Illegal aliens are here illegally'.



Moderate Republicans deselected

The Tea Party has caused mayhem in the Republican Party by campaigning to have any moderate Congressmen and women deselected. They do this through the US's primary system.

Before a Republican or Democratic candidate can stand in an election, he or she must first win a primary election to earn the right to represent their party.

Because of low voter turnout in primary elections, small numbers of committed activists are able to ensure that their preferred candidates are selected to represent their party in the election. Turnout can be as low as 1% of the turnout in a general election. It is generally around 10-15%.



30 Congressmen and women with Tea Party links

The Tea Party has campaigned to have moderate Republicans replaced by more extreme alternatives. There are now some 130 Congressmen with links to the Tea Party.

Tea Party sympathisers recently threatened to deselect the speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner because he said that he wanted to pass an immigration reform bill that would allow illegal residents who came to the country as children to join a pathway to citizenship if they subsequently studied in college or served in the US military.

Many US commentators say that the Tea Party is now a spent force in US politics. This has been partly caused, commentators say, by its previous success. The Tea Party had considerable success in the elections of 2010 in getting extreme candidates appointed.




Once in Congress, those Tea Party candidates have caused 'gridlock' in Congress by a complete refusal to compromise on any issue.

Perhaps the best-known example of Tea Party intransigence came when Tea Party Republicans nearly caused the US to default on its debts by refusing to approve the money to pay the country's creditors.

A Republican primary candidate from Maine, Andrew Ian Dodge, told; 'There were [Tea Party] people saying, 'Yes, I think we should default,' and there were the rest of us saying, 'You're insane' ". What makes this criticism more surprising is the fact that Mr Dodge was a founder of one of the major Tea Party groups in Maine.



Opposition to immigration reform is Tea Party's top priority for 2014

Nonetheless, it remains unlikely that Republicans, fearful that they will be undermined by Tea Party activists, will vote for immigration reform in 2014. It is an election year and the Tea Party seems to have made opposition to immigration reform its number one priority.

The American political system has been kidnapped by the Tea Party.

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

UK immigration statistics underestimated total by 350,000 in a decade

The UK's Office for National Statistics says that it underestimated the true extent of immigration from Eastern Europe between 2001 and 2011 by about 350,000. It says that the error occurred because the ONS estimate was based on misleading data from the International Passenger Survey.

The ONS has recently completed a review of immigration from the EU particularly after 2004 when eight new nations joined the European Union. It found that the statistics only used data from major airports rather than from all airports in the UK.

In 2004, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the European Union. Some opponents of EU immigration warned that there was likely to be a large influx of people from those countries when they joined the EU.



Transitional controls

Most other EU countries introduced 'transitional controls' with restrictions on working for nationals of the eight 'accession states' for up to seven years. Out of the Countries that were EU members states before 2004 only the UK, Ireland and Sweden did not.

The government dismissed warnings of a sudden rush of immigrants as alarmism but, within six months at least 600,000 EU immigrants had arrived most of whom to live and work in the UK. That figure has now been revised upwards.

The reason for the error is that, between 2004 and 2008 no information at all was gathered from most regional airports. Data was only gathered in major airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow. In 2008, the system was improved and more data was gathered from regional airports.



International Passenger Survey

The UK's immigration statistics are based on the International Passenger Survey. Each year, between 700,000 and 800,000 passengers are asked to complete surveys providing details of their reasons for travel and other information. This information is then collated and interpreted to provide immigration and emigration figures.

Given that UK airports handle nearly 250m passengers a year, the number of people who complete the International Passenger Survey is too small to rely on for accurate immigration statistics; Only about one in 350 passengers complete the survey. This has led a committee of MPs to describe the UK's immigration statistics as little better than a guess.

The Chairman of the Public Administration Committee, Bernard Jenkin told journalists last year that the UK's immigration statistics were 'little better than a best guess - and could be out by tens of thousands'.



Incomplete data

But, the news that no information was gathered from many lesser airports means that the ONS estimate was not even based on complete data.

The ONS now believes that net immigration was about 275,000 a year over the decade, up from the previous estimate of about 240,000 a year.

Carlos Vargas-Silva of Oxford University's Migration Observatory told journalists 'We have known for some time that net migration must have been much higher during the 2001-2011 period than the official estimates had suggested'.



Need for better migration data

Mr Vargas-Silva added that the mistake illustrated 'the need for better migration data and of the limitations of using a survey to develop net migration data'.

The error is likely to intensify the debate about immigration to the UK from the EU in the run-up to the European Parliament elections which are due to be held on May 22nd. Much of the UK public is hostile to mass immigration and the new figures may boost the electoral support of the anti-EU UK Independence Party.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Senior US Republican says illegal immigration can be 'an act of love'

Jeb Bush, the brother of George W Bush, who is seen as a frontrunner to be the Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, has called on the Republicans to abandon their 'harsh political rhetoric' on illegal immigration and said that illegal immigration is 'not a felony'.

Mr Bush's words have been seen as the opening shot in his campaign to become president in 2016. They are an indication that, if he stands for President, the Republican Party will drop its opposition to the introduction of an amnesty for illegal immigrants in the US.

How the party reacts to his words will decide whether Mr Bush has any realistic chance of gaining the Republican nomination and also help decide what immigration policy the party adopts over the next decade. This, in turn, may decide the fate of the party itself.



'They broke the law, but it's not a felony'

Mr Bush was interviewed on Sunday 6th April in Texas on Fox News, He said 'I'm going to say this and it will be on tape and so be it; the way I look at this, is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally ... and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work, to be able to provide for their family, yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family'.

This is bound to be seen as a rebuke to those in the Republican Party, particularly members of the radical Tea Party movement, who want to see all illegal immigrants removed from the US and disapprove intensely of any moves to allow those in the country illegally to become citizens.

The Republican Party is deeply split on the subject of illegal immigration. Some on the right of the party are resolutely opposed to any legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the US. Others, like Mr Bush, believe that, unless the Republicans support reform of this kind, there will never be another Republican president.



Opinion split

There are an estimated 11.5m illegal immigrants living in the US. 80% of them are of Hispanic descent. A further 10% are Asian, it is believed. Opinion in the US is split about what should be done about them.

Some believe that the US should grant an amnesty. If this were to occur, all those living in the country illegally would be allowed to 'come out of the shadows' and join a 'pathway to citizenship'.

They would be able to live in the US legally and work and pay taxes. They would be required to pay a fine for entering the country illegally and, if necessary, they would be required to learn English.
Thereafter, after waiting for a long period, they would be allowed to apply for permanent resident status and, ultimately, to become US citizens.



Majority favours 'amnesty' for most illegal residents

Polls show that a majority of the US population favours the amnesty. Some polls show that this majority is as high as 80% while others show only 53% support. However, in the Republican Party, support for the amnesty is less pronounced. Most opponents of the amnesty tend to support the Republicans.

Opponents of the amnesty believe that the US should legislate to make life harder for illegal immigrants. They believe that by doing so, they will be able to make them leave or 'self-deport' .

Opponents of the amnesty claim that it would
  • reward criminal behaviour by allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens ahead of those who apply in a lawful fashion
  • encourage further illegal immigration in future as future illegal immigrants would expect a further amnesty in future
  • disadvantage existing US citizens at a time when unemployment is already high.




At the last presidential election in November 2012, President Obama campaigned on a promise of comprehensive immigration reform while his Republican challenger Mitt Romney promised, instead, to introduce 'self-deportation' policies which would make life so difficult for illegal aliens that they would choose, voluntarily, to leave the country.

Analysis of the election results show that Mr Romney's support for 'self-deportation' might explain why he lost the election. Hispanic and Asian voters voted heavily in favour of Mr Obama. Some 71% of Hispanic voters supported the Democrats and an even higher percentage of Asian voters supported him.

Mr Romney lost the popular vote in the election by only 2m votes. The Hispanic vote alone gave Mr Obama a 5m vote advantage. Of 11m Hispanic voters, 8m supported Mr Obama and 3m supported Mr Romney.



Hispanic and Asian populations growing fast

The Hispanic and Asian populations of the US are growing fast and, if the Republicans become identified with 'self-deportation' policies, some Republican strategists fear, they will never be elected again.

Jeb Bush may have personal reasons to oppose the 'self-deportation' policies. His own wife, Columba, came from Mexico. The couple met in 1971 while Mr Bush was teaching English in Mexico in 1971.

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

US L-1B visa refusal rates increase

A report by an influential US think-tank says that refusal rates for L-1B visas have risen each year over the last decade and seem still to be rising. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, 9% of L-1B visa applications were refused in 2003. This had risen to 34% by 2013.

The report points out that, over this period there have been no changes to the regulations governing L-1B applications.

There has also been a large rise in the number of requests for evidence (requests for further information and documentation) made by immigration staff. 46% of applicants were asked for this in 2013; Only 16% were asked in 2003 and only 2% were asked in 2004. In 2008, the number of requests for further evidence rocketed from 17% to 49%.



'Specialized knowledge'

L-1 visas are intra company transfer visas allowing international firms to transfer an employee to work in the US. L1-A visas are for managers and last for up to seven years. L-1B visas are for skilled employees who possess 'specialized knowledge' of the business that is needed for the US office.

Over recent years, it has been increasingly difficult for applicants to convince US immigration staff that their employees have specialized knowledge. In 2012, Oracle complained that one of their foreign employees was not issued with an L-1B visa because he was deemed not to have specialized knowledge of the product Oracle wanted him to work on.

This employee had, in fact, written the manual explaining how to use the software and therefore, presumably, knew it better than anyone else.



Lack of L-1Bs 'will harm business'

The NFAP report predicts that the increasing difficulty in acquiring L-1B visas will continue to cause problems for US businesses.

Lynden Melmed, a former chief counsel at USCIS is reported to have said 'It is very difficult for companies to make business decisions when there is so much uncertainty in the L-1 visa Process. A company is going to be unwilling to invest in a manufacturing facility in the U.S. if it does not know whether it can bring its own employees into the country to ensure its success.

The report says that the increase in refusals is costing firms millions of pounds. It says that firms applying for L-1Bs are aware of the rules and pre-select employees that they believe will be eligible for visas because they do not want to waste money.



Rules interpreted more strictly

The report says that this rise in the number of refusals is therefore unlikely to be caused by a higher number of unsuitable candidates but instead by a change in the way that the rules are interpreted.

Some firms report that immigration staff are refusing applications made on behalf of people unless they have 'extraordinary ability'. Some adjudicators ask whether the visa nominee has received a patent. Nothing in the regulations requires this level of ability.

The report states that it seems that the level of refusals is particularly high among Indian applicants. In 2008, only 2.8% of Indian applications were refused. By 2009, this had risen to 22.5%. USCIS has not released country specific figures for 2012 or 2013; anecdotal evidence suggests that this figure is much higher now.



US business made less competitive

The report concludes that 'the continuing high rate of denials and Requests for Evidence for L-1B petitions has a negative impact on the ability of companies to make products and services in the United States and compete globally'.

The report asks whether USCIS 'adjudicators or their supervisors have been attempting to prevent the movement of people in the global economy'. It concludes 'If so, that should not be their role and the consequences for increasing jobs, investment and innovation on U.S. soil have not been good'.

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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

UK will issue fewer than 200 Tier 1 Exceptional Talent tech visas per year

In December 2013, the UK's prime minister, David Cameron, announced a new visa route for IT workers in the UK. He announced that, as of April 2014, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa stream would be amended to allow some IT workers of exceptional talent to apply for UK visas.

It has now emerged that there will be a cap of 200 on the number of IT workers who will be able to get these visas each year. However, it is likely that the real number will be far lower than that because it is extremely hard to qualify for the visa. In 2011, seven people qualified for Exceptional Talent visas.



Tier 2 (General) visa

'There are about 100,000 IT firms in London and many of them are experiencing difficulty in recruiting skilled workers because of the government's restrictive immigration policies. If the government wants to help, it should make it easier for IT professionals to qualify for Tier 2 (General) visas'.

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa allows up to 1,000 foreign nationals of 'exceptional talent' to come to the UK each year. They do not have to have a job offer before they come nor do they need a sponsor. However, they must obtain the endorsement of a 'Designated Competent Body' (DCB).

Until now, there have been only four DCBs; The British Academy, The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering and Arts Council England. Each of these was allowed to endorse the applications of either 200 or 300 people each year. In practice, as hardly anyone meets the requirements for this visa they have only endorsed a very small number of people.



Tech City

Now, the government has designated a fifth DCB; Tech City, the organisation founded by the government in 2010 to support and foster London tech businesses.

Tech City is credited with considerable success in growing the IT sector in London. It is headed by CEO Joanna Shields who was previously Chief Technology Officer at Facebook.

Tech City will be allowed to endorse up to 200 Exceptional Talent visas each year. Even if it approves all 200 each year, this is unlikely to make much of a difference to London's IT recruitment crisis. Ms Shields told journalists in 2013 'every tech company that we talk to says that hiring is a problem'.



'The category is very restrictive'

One immigration lawyer told Computer Weekly magazine that the new visa 'may benefit a handful of highly skilled entrepreneurs who want to move to the UK or relocate their companies, but the category is still very restrictive'.

And Alastair Paterson, the CEO of Digital Shadows, an internet security management company, told Computer Weekly that the criteria for qualifying for the Exceptional Talent visa made it a poor choice for the tech sector in any event.

He said that Exceptional Talent applicants must have a PhD or equivalent research experience. Most successful tech entrepreneurs do not meet these requirements. Some do not have even a bachelor's degree. Tech entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Steve jobs were "college dropouts".



'The people we are trying to hire from overseas will not be eligible'

He said 'How many of the founders, CEOs and CTOs of the top Silicon Valley tech firms have PhDs? Not many…As such the new measures make no difference to us as a start-up since the people we are trying to hire from overseas will not be eligible for this new arrangement'.

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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Canadian immigration ministers agree to cooperate on visa reform

On Tuesday 18th March 2014, Canada's immigration minister Chris Alexander met in Ottawa with the immigration ministers of Canada's provinces and territories to discuss Canada's future immigration policies.

According to a joint statement they have 'reiterated their commitment to actively recruit economic immigrants that have the skills the Canadian economy needs most'.

The statement says that they intend to increase the percentage of Canada's total immigrant intake that is made up of economic migrants. In 2012, 62% of migrants were in the economic stream. They said that they intended to increase this figure to 'a minimum of 70%, nationally and by jurisdiction in the years ahead'.




Canada is a federal country comprising ten provinces and three territories. Each of them has considerable autonomy in most matters. This is particularly so in the case of Quebec, the only French-speaking province. Each of the territories and provinces is a 'jurisdiction' and each will attempt to increase economic immigration to 70% of the total 'in the years ahead'.



Federal Skilled Worker Program

Canada's main skilled immigration program at present is the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Around 55,000 people annually receive permanent residence visas under this program.

Skilled workers can apply under the FSWP in one of the three following circumstances:
  • They have an offer of full-time employment in Canada.
  • They are skilled in one of 24 eligible occupations on CIC's eligible occupations list. Only 5,000 eligible occupation visas will be issued annually.
  • They are studying for a PhD in Canada

In recent years, however, a greater number of immigrants have been selected for permanent residence visas via the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The PNP is a system which allows provincial and territorial governments to nominate applicants for Canadian permanent residence visas. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the federal immigration department, will then decide whether to grant a visa.



Expression of Interest

At their meeting, the immigration ministers agreed to continue to work together on a replacement for the FSWP; the new 'Expression of Interest' (EOI) system. They announced that they intend that the new system will be introduced in January 2015.

According to the ministers' statement, The EOI system 'will complement the Provincial Nominee Program'.

Canada's EOI system was first proposed by Canada's last immigration minister Jason Kenney. Mr Kenney based his plan on the Australian SkillSelect EOI system. Under the SkillSelect system, foreign workers interested in immigrating to Australia make an initial approach to Australian immigration.



Employers select suitable candidates

In the 'Expression of Interest' system applicants provide details of their skills, qualifications and experience. The applicant's details are then placed in a searchable database. Employers are able to browse EOIs online and select a suitable candidate.

This candidate will then be invited to apply for a visa. At this point, he or she must provide proof of all the claims made in the EOI (for example educational certificates).
It is thought that the Canadian EOI system will be similar but that employers will not be able to search the database of applicants.



Court case

As immigration minister, Mr Kenney was concerned at the lengthy backlogs in the FSWP system. By 2012, some applicants were waiting for eight years to have their applications processed. As a result, Mr Kenney took drastic action, terminating all applications made before February 2008.

Many of the applicants who lost the chance to emigrate to Canada as a result sued CIC but lost their case. Mr Kenney's decision shortened the waiting time for a FSWP visa considerably but applicants were still waiting for two years for a decision. Mr Kenney said that, for Canada to compete for international talent, it had to reduce waiting times.

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

UK Immigration announces changes to Points-Based System

The UK's Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has announced 'a package of changes to Points-Based System work routes' which he says 'improve flexibility for applicants and help to boost economic growth'.

Mr Brokenshire submitted a written ministerial statement to the House of Commons on 13th March 2014.

The changes are
  • Creating a new Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category for IT workers. To qualify for an Exceptional Talent visa, applicants must first gain the endorsement of a 'Designated Competent Body' (DCB). There are currently only four DCBs; the Royal Society, Arts Council England, the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Mr Brokenshire has announced that the London IT body Tech City will now be granted DCB status and will be able to endorse talented IT workers. There is no word yet as to how many visas will be available but it is unlikely to be more than 500 per year.
  • Reforming the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa category by 'removing the ring-fencing of places for MBA graduates'. Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she would double the number of Graduate Entrepreneur visas available to 2,000 a year but said that the extra 1,000 would be 'ring-fenced' for MBA graduates only. All graduates will now be eligible for all Graduate Entrepreneur visas.
  • Applicants for Tier 2 skilled worker visas will now be able to apply for a visa lasting five years. This will apply both to Tier 2 (General) visas and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visas. Currently, the maximum initial duration of a Tier 2 visa is three years.



Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

UK Prime Minister David Cameron first announced the changes to the Exceptional Talent visa stream in a speech in London in February. Mr Brokenshire's announcement added few details to Mr Cameron's announcement.

Annual cap of 1,000

'It is extremely difficult to qualify for an Exceptional Talent visa. There is a nominal annual cap of 1,000 on the number of exceptional talent visas available but it is so difficult to qualify that nowhere near that number of visas has ever been issued. In fact, in 2011, only seven people were granted this visa and there have been fewer than 100 issued each year since then.

'There are over 500,000 people working in IT in London and industry insiders say there are significant skills shortages. Issuing a small number of Exceptional Talent IT visas a year will make little difference'.

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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

UK immigration 'must not sell citizenship' say MPs

A committee of MPs has warned the UK's Coalition government against selling Tier 1 (Investor) visas at auction.

Last month, the government's independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) suggested that the government should auction off 100 'premium' investor visas each year with a reserve price of £2.5m each. These would allow their holders to qualify for UK citizenship within months.

But the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons urged the government to reject this advice. The committee met on Thursday 20th March 2014.



'The government must not sell citizenship to the highest bidder' - Vaz

The committee's chairman, Keith Vaz, said 'The Government must not sell citizenship to the highest bidder. This method has considerable benefits for the applicant but brings little benefit to the UK. We fail to see how this fits in with the Government's desire for the UK to attract only the "brightest and the best".'

Mr Vaz said 'Those who seek to acquire British citizenship should be fit and proper'. He said 'the lack of due diligence on individuals is a recipe for disaster'. In fact, the MAC report did stipulate that premium visa applicants would be subject to the usual due diligence requirements.

On 25th February, the MAC made its recommendations in a report published on 25th February. The report stated that the Tier 1 (Investor) visa is currently of questionable benefit to the UK.



Tier 1 (Investor) visa

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows wealthy people from outside the European Economic Area to apply for a UK residence visa if they invest £1m in a qualifying investment in the UK. The visa lasts initially for three year and four months and can be extended.

Those who invest £1m can apply for a UK permanent residence visa (known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR) after five years. Those who invest £5m can apply after three years and those who invest £10m can apply after two years.

The MAC said that most people currently applying for the visa, about 500 people annually, invest £1m in UK government bonds for five years. The MAC said that this was of little benefit to the UK because the UK has no difficulty in selling its government bonds anyway.



Little evidence of active investing

There is also little evidence that many of those with Investor visas actually do any active investing in UK business and create jobs, according to the committee.

Committee chairman Professor David Metcalf told journalists at a press conference to mark the publication of the report said 'When people say 'Isn't it awful to sell visas', I reply that it is better than giving them away, which is what we're doing now'.

Professor Metcalf suggested that at least £50m a year of the money raised from auctioning the visas should go towards good causes.



'Little apparent ability to carry out due diligence'

But the Home Affairs Committee rejected the report's suggestions. The Committee warned that the proposals would mean that foreign nationals would be able to purchase citizenship leaving the UK with 'little apparent ability to carry out due diligence on the individual' and would impose 'no expectation to learn English and only require them to actually reside in the UK for 90 days a year'.

The Home Office is expected to respond to the MAC report within the next few months.

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

H-1B cap 'costs US 500,000 jobs a year'

The cap on the number of H-1B visas is costing the US economy one new job every 43 seconds, according to a tech industry pressure group. According to Dr Matthew Slaughter of Compete America, 500,000 more jobs would have been created in the US in the last year if the H-1B cap had not existed.

At present there is a cap of 85,000 on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued each year. Dr Slaughter reached his 500,000 figure by calculating how many more visas would have been issued had there been no cap and then using existing research about the number of jobs created by H-1B visa holders to calculate the number of additional jobs that would have been created in the economy.

H-1B visa holders are allowed to enter the US to work in a 'specialty occupation'. Under the current system, 65,000 H-1B visas can be issued annually to workers with a bachelor's degree or a level of knowledge gained through work experience and training which amounts to 'degree equivalence'. A further 20,000 visas can be issued to workers with advanced degrees such as PhDs and doctorates.



H-1B lottery

Every year, USCIS accepts applications for at least five days. If, at the end of that time, the number of applications exceeds the caps, USCIS stops accepting applications and holds a lottery to distribute the available visas among those who have applied.

Demand far outstrips supply. In 2013, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) opened for applications on April 1st and accepted applications for five days. By the end of that time, it had received 124,000 applications.

So, within five days, USCIS received nearly 40,000 more applications than there were visas available. Had it stayed open for longer, no doubt many more visa applications would have received.



Four US jobs directly dependent on each H-1B visa

Dr Slaughter told Fox Business News that research shows that four jobs for US workers are created directly to support every H-1B visa holder. He maintains that four times that number is created in the wider economy in service industries and supply chains and so forth.

Dr Slaughter has created a 'Jobs Loss Calculator' which is to be found on the Compete America website. The counter shows the number of jobs lost because of the cap since April 1st 2013 according to Professor Slaughter's calculations.

The counter rises by one every 63 seconds. At the time of writing, it stands at 487,165. The CEO of Compete America Scott Corley said 'every few seconds of every business day, America loses another job that would have been created by a high-skilled immigrant who couldn't get a work visa due to out-dated limits on the number of H-1B visas issued'.



Increasing the number of H-1Bs would create jobs

Compete America CEO Scott Corley issued a statement saying 'it is incredible that we are deliberately preventing the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs each year. The most efficient and effective way to create jobs in America is to increase the number of H-1B visas issued.'

Compete America is a lobbying group backed by many leading US tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Intel.

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Australian immigration minister announces 457 visa investigation

Michaelia Cash, Australia's Assistant Immigration Minister, has announced an investigation into the 457 temporary work visa. She has established a public inquiry which will look into the level of 'rorting' or abuse of the 457 visa.

It will investigate whether the requirement for 'labour market testing' (LMT) should be scrapped. LMT was introduced by the last Australian Labor government to prevent abuse of the 457 visa.

LMT requires Australian businesses to advertise vacant positions in the Australian media before nominating a foreign worker for a 457 visa to fill the role.




The panel has been asked to examine whether 'rorting' is widespread. If it finds that abuse of the visa is rare, as many Australian business organisations claim, then it will probably recommend that LMT should be scrapped. If it finds that abuse of the visa is commonplace, then it will probably recommend that LMT should continue.

This makes the composition of the inquiry panel a matter of some importance. Australian unions have complained that there is no union representation on the panel and that some of the members of the panel are known opponents of LMT.

Ms Cash has appointed senior figures from the Australian business community to the panel. It will be chaired by Professor Peter MacDonald of the Australian National University.



Industry figures

Other members are Jenny Lambert of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, John Azarias of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Kate Malyon, an immigration lawyer with Ernst and Young.

The unions protest that the composition of the panel means that its conclusions are a foregone conclusion. Scott McDine of the Australian Workers' Union said that the inquiry has been 'stacked to deliver a predetermined outcome that will hurt Australian workers'.

The unions believe that Australian employers have used the 457 visa to import cheaper foreign workers when there were Australian workers available to do the job. The unions supported the decision of the Labor Government to introduce LMT in 2013.



Allegations of rorting 'exaggerated'

Employers complained that union allegations of 'rorting' were exaggerated and that the additional expense of complying with LMT was a waste of time and money that would harm the competitiveness of Australian businesses.

Indeed, the unions have complained that the immigration minister, Scott Morrison has already decided the outcome of the inquiry. Mr Morrison told Australian broadcaster Sky News on Wednesday 12th March 2014 that the inquiry the inquiry had been established to 'remov[e] union red tape which was put there by the previous government'.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has written to Ms Cash to complain about the lack of union representation. The Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald says that Ms Cash has responded to the unions saying 'the government respects the important role unions play in the community'. However, Ms Cash has not offered to appoint an union representative onto the panel.



457 visa lasts up to four years

The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers from overseas to live and work in Australia for up to four years. To qualify, an international worker must be sponsored by an Australian business.

457 visa holders can bring their spouses and dependent children with them. They can enter and leave Australia as often as they like while their visas are current.

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

UK to appoint cabinet level Immigration Minister

The UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron, is considering creating a new 'Cabinet-level' Immigration Minister post, according to the online newspaper The Huffington Post. The Immigration Minister would not be a full member of the Cabinet but would attend most Cabinet meetings.

Currently, the immigration minister is a junior minister in the Home Office who does not sit in the Cabinet and reports to the Home Secretary. The Huffington Post says that Mr Cameron is considering creating the new cabinet level post at the time of his next cabinet reshuffle at the end of May.

According to the Huffington Post, Mr Cameron intends to appoint Grant Shapps, the current chairman of the Conservative Party, to the position. This could be seen as a demotion according to the Huffington Post, after Mr Shapps's disappointing performance in the role of party chairman. It would also probably mean a swift end to the ministerial career of James Brokenshire, the current Immigration Minister, who was only appointed to the position in February after his predecessor, Mark Harper, resigned.



Immigration minister was employing illegal immigrant

Mr Harper resigned after he discovered that, for the last seven years, he had been employing an illegal Colombian immigrant as a cleaner for his London flat.

Mr Brokenshire used his first speech as minister to criticise 'the metropolitan elite' who benefited from immigration because they received 'cheap tradesmen and services' at the expense of British workers.

This speech led to considerable embarrassment for various government ministers who many would say are part of the 'metropolitan elite' that employs immigrant staff.



Home Secretary employs Brazilian cleaner

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and the Home Secretary Theresa May both admitted that they used foreign cleaners and Mr Cameron and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg both revealed that they used foreign nannies to look after their children.

Mr Cameron and his wife employed two women, one from Nepal and another from Australia, to look after their children.

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