Indians to be hit by U.K. immigration plan

Under the new system, immigrants will be able to bring their immediate families only if they are sponsored by employers
Indian citizens and other non-EU citizens will have the same immigration rights as EU citizens in the U.K., under a system that will give priority to high skilled workers. However, the new system will introduce even further restrictions on the ability of Indian workers and their families to come to the U.K., requiring any family to be sponsored by the employer. The move would be the biggest shake-up of Britain’s immigration system in decades, Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement released late on Monday, following her address at the Conservative Party conference on Monday. Britain will end “freedom of movement once and for all”, Ms. May told delegates, referring to the system which is a fundamental principle of the EU, and which allows its citizens to look for a job in other member countries, work there without a permit, reside there and stay on even after employment has ended. “It will be a skills-based system where it is workers’ skills that matter, not where they come from. It will be a system that looks across the globe and attracts the people with the skills we need.” However, successful applicants would be able to bring their immediate family only if they were sponsored by future employers, thereby increasing the potential costs of businesses and putting further obstacles in the way of people being able to bring their families to the U.K. Under the existing system, family members are able to bring family members with them if they meet certain criteria, including crossing a certain salary threshold. During the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign, some politicians courted voters from the South Asian diaspora with promises that Brexit — by enabling Britain to restrict the rights of EU citizens to travel to the U.K. — could provide the government with the capacity to ease rules for those from non-EU countries. “Because we are unable to restrict migration from the EU, immigrants from non-EU countries have faced more restrictions to help ease the pressure from immigration,” said former International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who campaigned strongly to leave the EU in 2016 ahead of the referendum. “I know that many members of the Indian diaspora find it deeply unfair that other EU nationals effectively get special treatment. This can and will change if Britain leaves the EU,” she said then. “One of the most troubling untruths peddled before the referendum was the claim that the end of free movement for Europeans would entail the loosening of restrictions on the movement of non-Europeans, including those from South Asia and other parts of the Commonwealth.,” said Satbir Singh, Chief Executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants “The Indian community was courted with promises of easier access to visit or work or family visas, pitting them against their European neighbours. Today’s announcement proves beyond doubt that the government has no intention of making life easier for Indians or for anybody from the Commonwealth to live here.”
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