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Scrutiny
 
BRITAIN: IMMIGRATION POLICY
You’re not the ‘chosen’ one!
Britain’s selective immigration policy and the newly incurred changes in the family visas are certainly not what the doctor ordered
Issue Date - 01/03/2012
 
In the legal sense, the only prerequisite for getting married is the consent of the bride and the groom. That widely accepted logic has undergone a dramatic twist, as Britain’s new immigration policy has indicated a more ‘selective’ approach; imposing an income threshold for marrying a foreign national and bringing the spouse back to UK.

In a move to ensure that “the right people are coming” to UK, Immigration Minister Damian Green has formulated an immigration policy, which will only allow foreign nationals earning more than £31,000 per year to apply for permanent stay in the country after five years. The amount is comparatively high when compared to the Britain’s median annual income of £26,000. The policy will also ban British residents earning less than £25,700 from bringing in a foreign spouse. This category currently accounts for more than half the working population of UK. Moreover, major changes in family visas are being undertaken, which are denying entry to husbands or wives who can’t speak English. UK is also planning to scrap the post-study work visa, which is immensely popular among south-Asian students.

These changes came into the foray after Migration Watch published a report blaming the high number of migrants for increasing unemployment in UK. Contrarily, a report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research claims that there is a little or no impact of migration on overall unemployment. While one can debate on which report to believe, it is quite clear that UK is adopting the wrong medicine for its economic ills. Moreover, immigrants have provided the kind of vibrancy that aging populations like the UK need so urgently, and measures like these will only prove to be counter-productive in the long run.

 

Mrinmoy Dey           

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