Britain hikes immigration fee: ‘Unfair’ immigration laws

Britain hikes immigration fee
     1 Feb 2008, 0927 hrs IST , PTI
LONDON: Britain has announced a hike in its immigration fees to fund sweeping changes it plans to introduce to improve border security over the next 12 months.

      The proposal introduced in the House of Commons on Thursday comes just weeks before the introduction of a new points based system for managing migration.

     The system is aimed at ensuring that only workers with skills to benefit Britain’s economy come to the UK and puts in place a licensing system for businesses who want to recruit from overseas.

     The fee for Highly Skilled Migrant T1 (General) Programme, which is popular among      Indians, will go up from 400 pounds to 600 pounds

      The fee for Work Permit visa and Visitor visa (Long term) will be increased from 200 pounds to 205 pounds, while the Settlement visa will go up from 500 pounds to 515 pounds.

       The Visitor visa will go up from 63 pounds to 65 pounds. Expressing confidence that the aspiring immigrants will not be deterred by the hike, Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: “We believe that it is fair that those who benefit most from using our immigration system should help fund it.

      “We welcome the contribution that legal migrants make to the economy and cultural life in the UK and we have ensured that these fees, which will usher in the biggest reforms to the immigration system in a generation, are at levels that will not damage our international competitiveness,” Byrne said.

       “We are confident that we are not out of line with other countries’ prices and that the people we want to come here will not be deterred from doing so,” the minister said

 India warns Britain over ‘unfair’ worker immigration laws

LONDON: India has cautioned Britain that it would be the “loser” if its immigration laws are not liberalised to allow freer movement of workers from the sub-continent nation.

“Short of permanent immigration, we are asking for freer movement of personnel who can render services abroad,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram told The Times .

His comments come as many highly skilled Indians — entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors and IT specialists — find it impossible to stay in Britain since changes to a migrant programme in November.

The changes to the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP), which was applied retrospectively, lays greater emphasis on earnings and education than work experience.

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