25 Nov 2011

Foreign students make up majority of the population increase in UK

Newly released official data from the Office for National Statistics show that net migration to Britain has apparently hit a record high of 252,000 last year.

Let us examine the data further.

There were 591,000 arrivals out of which 238,000 (record high) were students. However, the data does not mention how many of the students are from Non-EU countries.

Many experts question the classification of students as immigrants- tourists would be a better option. It should be noted that majority of students go back to their home countries after completion of their studies - normally between 1-4 years. Non-EU students can only take part time jobs during term time and contrary to what so many seem to believe, they do not have access to public funding (no benefits - Job seekers allowance, Housing, Child , etc.).

Anyway, the total arrivals (not students) = 353,000. What the reports do not mention is the number of British citizens coming back home from other countries. For example, reports in the the Australian Press indicate that a high number of Brits are going back to the UK.

Apparently the increase is because of a fall in emigration is falling. Only 174,000 Brits left the UK to work abroad - a fall from 203,000 in the previous year.

According to the Guardian report, Matt Cavanagh, of the Institute of Public Policy Research was reported as saying that the Conservatives had made a mistake of choosing 'net immigration' as their political target. He adds:

"The government cannot control emigration, just like it cannot control immigration from the EU, so it ends up trying to clamp down even harder on those areas of immigration it can control. But these are the areas most valuable to our economy, like overseas students and skilled workers from outside the EU."

19 Nov 2011

Indian company one of the largest investors in UK

Some good news:

Indian company Tata which owns Jaguar Land Rover has announced that they will be investing more than £1.5 billion pounds annually in the UK for the next five years. They recently announced the creation of 1000 new jobs at its Land Rover plant in Solihull, West Midlands. They currently employ about 20,000 workers in the UK.

It is amazing that they have been able to turn around an ailing company and actually create new jobs in this economic climate when so many other companies are shutting down or going bankrupt.

Contrary to what some newspapers and organisations would have us believe, not everything foreign is bad for the UK.

16 Nov 2011

Proposal to increase salary threshold for bringing foreign-born spouse and children to the UK

According to a news reports today, the UK migration advisory committee has proposed that UK residents should have a minimum salary before tax of between £18,700 and £25,700 if they wished to bring a spouse or child to live in Britain. Currently the salary threshold is £5,500.The bar increases for those who would like to bring in a wife and 2 kids: between £24,800 to £47,600.

However, Matt Cavanagh, the associate director of the Institute of Public Policy Research, said this is another example of immigration policy being distorted by the net immigration target, referring to the Government's inability to control emigration and immigration from the EU.

"We're not talking about people who are destitute or living on benefits, we are talking about people who are working and getting an average wage" he added.

10 Nov 2011

Problems with the immigration cap

Despite tougher border controls and the immigration cap, why has net immigration actually increased since the new Government come to power.

The answer is quite simple.

A number of those moving into the UK are returning British citizens.

There is nothing the UK can do about the EU nationals, who are estimated to make up about a third of all arrivals. The only solution would be to exit the EU which is simply not going to happen.

In the end, the only people whose entry can be controlled are the non-EU nationals.

It would be hard to prevent family members joining those already here.

Assuring that only students enrolling at valid Universities would help but they make up only a small percentage. Reducing the number of foreign students will affect one of highest foreign exchange earners of the country. Plus the research output generated contributes to the reputation and wealth of the nation. Plus most of the students are only here for a short period of time and some experts are saying that they should not even be classed in the same category as long term immigrants.

However, there is a big loop hole in the cap - there is nothing the Government can do about MNC bringing in foreign workers on "intra-company transfers".

So that leaves a minority of people - the skilled migrants and exceptional talented migrants - artists, academics, scientists, etc. The kind of people who can contribute to the country and whom the country should welcome.

Ultimately this leaves asylum seekers, refugees and illegal immigrants.
What can be done is to crack down on illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers.

9 Nov 2011

UK Border control row

Brodie Clark, the head of the UK border force was suspended on 5th of November , along with and two senior immigration officials based on claims that passport checks for non-EU nationals were secretly dropped this summer.

Theresa May home secretary admits she authorised the relaxed rules on immigration checks. However, she says that she "did not sanction lifting of checks against 'warning list' of potential terror suspects and illegal migrants".

The Full documents.

Brodie Clark resigns from the UK Border Agency - 8th November

From the Guardian

Specialist jobs to be removed from government-approved list

According to a recent report, the UK government has accepted recommendations from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to remove certain specialist jobs from the shortage occupation list. According to the MAC there are UK resident workers available to fill the vacancies. Occupations that the MAC recommended be removed from the list include: secondary education biology teachers; speech and language therapists; pharmacists; orthoptists; veterinary surgeons; and, rank and file orchestral musicians. Added to the list will be: actuaries; high integrity pipe welders; environmental scientists; and, geochemists Rank and file orchestral musicians will not be removed from the list immediately, until further discussions take place with the industry to discuss the resident labour market test. The revised list will come into effect from 14 November 2011.