UK immigration wants "brightest and best" immigrants

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06 February 2012


UK immigration Minister Damian Green announced this week that the UK would be bringing in a more selective immigration policy that encourages the "brightest and best" to come to the UK.

Specifically, Green said that the UK wants immigrants who can "benefit Britain". He committed to continue with more reforms that he says will result in an immigration system that he says will better meet the needs of the UK.

The new immigration system brought in by the Coalition Government in 2010 has been heavily criticised for being too inflexible and in reality doing more harm than good. Many would argue that the new immigration system is bad in the long term for the UK economy.

"We need to know not just that the right number of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here. We have laid the foundations for a sustainable system where we get numbers down and keep them down. Now we shall make it work for Britain," said Green.

UK immigration will soon be announcing further changes to family migration routes and changes to the requirements for settlement. He said the immigration department will also continue to take steps to curb abuse of the Tier 4 student visa route. There have been changes to Tier 1 visas; Tier 1 General has been replaced by Tier 1 Exceptional Talent that hardly anyone qualifies for.

The changes would also make it more difficult for those living in the UK on work visas to qualify for UK permanent residence.

"You have to show genuine serious usefulness to British society. What we are saying is: if you are a particularly exceptional person we will make it easy for you to come here in the first place and we will allow you to stay for a certain amount of time and in some categories we will make it easier for you to stay here," Green added.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants disagreed with the reforms, saying they are a "hammer blow to the human rights of cross border partners and their families". Chief executive Habib Rahman stated that immigrants already have to abide by language requirements and increased visa fees, and now they will face even more restrictive immigration rules.

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