At the beginning of this month I wrote on Labour’s proposals to immigration policies in their conference held in Liverpool. This week, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed the Government’s proposals concerning new immigration policies set to come into force ahead of Brexit.
In brief, the Government proposals are:
- To change to current Life in the UK Test for those applying to settle and naturalise as a British citizen in the UK;
- To strengthen the English language Requirement;
- To increase protection for victims of forced marriage;
- To introduce a single immigration system which will give highly skilled workers priority to work and live in the UK;
- To scrap the cap on the number of highly skilled migrants as part of the post-Brexit plan (the limit is currently 20,000); and
- To enforce the requirement that highly skilled migrant applicants must meet the minimum salary threshold which current stands as £30,000 (there are hints that this may be reviewed).
Whilst criticising the current Life in the UK Test, calling it a “pub quiz”, the Home Secretary added:
“Citizenship should mean more than being able to win a pub quiz. We need to make it a British values test – and that’s exactly what I will bring in.”
Mr Javid also confirmed that he would strengthen the English language
requirements for all new citizens. In his interview with The Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, he pointed out that over 700,000 people currently residing in the UK do not speak English, having previously acknowledged that his own mother did not learn English until a decade after she moved to the UK. He stated:
“I’m determined to break down barriers to integration wherever I find them. Take, for example, the most basic barrier of all: language.”
Speaking with Viner, the Home Secretary said he was not concerned by the thought that under such a regime his father, who arrived from Pakistan in 1961 with £1 and no skills, would be barred from entry.
When his father came, Mr Javid said, the entry system was very different as the governments of the time “wanted, needed, a route for low-skilled migration”
In the interview, Javid, talked about his anger at the unfair targeting of people from the Windrush generation by immigration enforcement.
“The first thing that went through my mind is that it could have been my parents,”
he said. “Imagine if this was my mum or my uncle, someone who had lived in Britain their whole life, contributed so much, being detained or, worse, removed from the country.”
Mr Javid also vehemently rejected that the post-2010 Conservative Government had been primarily responsible for the Windrush crisis with the so-called hostile environment policy, saying a lot of it had begun under Labour.
In his speech at the conference, the Home Secretary made it clear that if you don’t respect the laws of this country, you are not welcome here. He announced that he would strip dual nationals of their UK citizenship if they were involved in gangs that sexually exploit children.
Mr Javid also said that he would offer greater support to those who have been a victim of forced marriage and to revoke visas of their spouses if they were forced into marriage. When these proposals come into force, victims of forced marriage will be able to block their abusers from entering Britain. This comes two months after a Times investigation
exposed practices wherein Home Office officials, who knew a case concerned a forced marriage, were turning a blind eye and issuing visas to known abusers
Author, Tamana Aziz, is a solicitor and Director of Immigration at Duncan Lewis, with an extensive caseload acting for individuals and businesses in a range of immigration matters.
Her practice includes immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System, complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Tamana also advises employers and provides bespoke training on subjects such as compliance with the Home Office’s Prevention of Illegal Working regime and how to use the online sponsorship management system. In addition, Tamana advises high net worth and skilled individuals on extending Tier 2 (General) visas, spousal applications, applications for settlement and British Citizenship. Tamana also has significant experience assisting clients with immigration applications under EU law.
For expert advice and support with your cases, contact Tamana on email@example.com, or 020 3114 1130.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Our Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in The Legal 500 2017. As leading immigration specialists we advise on business immigration, right to work in the UK, Tier 2 visa applications, student/graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.
Our broad practice provides a full service to SME business clients across the UK in relation to the Points Based System (PBS); Sponsorship license applications and immigration strategy/compliance advice. Our specialist solicitors are also able to advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit.
For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 033 3772 0409