26 January 2009

HSMP forum: relax visa extension criteria for skilled migrants

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A Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP) Forum has implored the government to give skilled migrants in the UK concessions with their visa extension criteria, reports Yahoo India News.

The HSMP Forum is the advocate for highly skilled migrants in the UK, and they argue that the British Government needs to consider external factors – particularly the adverse effect of the recession on migrants – when assessing their visa extensions under the new system for immigration.

They say, if the government were to stick by their "unrealistically stringent visa extension criteria", the UK immigration system would be unreasonable and would not take into account the financial problems faced by migrants.

"To avoid further penalising the migrants it will be only fair if those immigration rules are somewhat relaxed by acknowledging the difficulties that migrants are undergoing in the present economic climate.  The credit crunch affects everyone from natural-born citizen to immigrant," Amit Kapadia, the executive director of the Forum, said.

Tier 1 highly skilled migrants and those who need to extend their UK visa under the new points-based system are particularly finding it difficult under the current legislation, and according to Kapadia the stringent rules would get worse when the new Immigration and Citizenship Bill is properly introduced. 

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