In yet another indication that the UK’s visa policy is too rigid, and negotiating it too difficult for the common aspirants–especially the ones from the Indian subcontinent and other Non- European Union (EU) regions of the world–many professionals from India have, reportedly, increased their fight in the UK against what they allege are hostile immigration regulations by the current UK administration.
For the demonstrations being held outside the British Parliament–under the umbrella of Highly Skilled Migrants group–these agitators have, reportedly, joined hands with migrants from other nations.
As per the available report, close to 1,000 qualified doctors, IT professionals, engineers and teachers from the nations outside the EU, have brought together migrants from South Asia & Africa for what could turn out to one of its biggest such demonstrations in the UK hitherto.
These experts, along with their families–primarily from the nations of India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh–are, reportedly, protesting against the UK Home Office alleged delays and unfounded denials involving their petitions submitted for the object of getting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
As per one of the organizers of the group, which held its first public demonstration outside Downing Street earlier last month, the protestors have completely forgotten where they hail from to fight for the shared cause. A growing number of individuals are joining in as it has allegedly become apparent they are being deprived of the important right to reside, and do a job in the country, for no legally justified reasons whatsoever.
Significantly, the professionals–who gained entrance into the nation on a Tier 1 (General) Visa many years back–have the eligibility to apply for the Permanent Residency (PR) standing or the ILR, post five years of legal residency in the nation.
Even as the visa stream, employed by several software experts from India among others was stopped in 2010, previous candidates reportedly, still have the eligibility to submit an application for ILR in the UK until April this year, in case they fulfill the different mandatory terms & conditions.
But, the Highly Skilled Migrants group has reportedly alleged that a large number of cases have come to light where these petitions have been either held up in prolonged delays, or been rejected on flimsy grounds of a segment of the UK Immigration Act drafted against alleged criminals and tax evaders.
Allegedly, trained migrants with outstanding educational and professional abilities have been denied residency and mentioned as a danger to the UK with the only reason being they could have either filled their tax somewhat late, or had to; perhaps, change their taxes, which is allowed by law.
Highly Skilled Migrants group has, so far, collected close-to 22,500 signatures on an online petition, duly addressed to the present UK Premier and other concerned British lawmakers. As per the petition, the immigrants, who were chiefly on a highly skilled programme in the nation, doing a job in reputable businesses & positions have been treated vey shabbily.
The Highly Skilled Migrants group–brought into existence, thanks to different social media interactions–has generated 25,000 British pounds through private donations even as it is presently working on starting a crowd-funding programme so that the UK Home Office could be legally challenged on the issue, if the situation warrants so.
In the meanwhile, the UK Home Office has reportedly asserted that it is fully devoted to resolving each and every visa application as soon as possible, even as they claimed that a large number of the Tier 1 candidates have reported different numbers to them and the UK tax department (HMRC) with a view to either change their tax liabilities, or cater to the terms & conditions of the immigration regulations, or both.
It added that it is crucial that the right decisions are made, principally with the difficult Tier 1 applications that necessitate thorough consideration and corroboration of evidence with the HMRC even as such robust checks are important so that the UK immigration service or tax structure is not abused.