New UK immigration minister announced in Cabinet reshuffle

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 06 September 2012

Mr Harper, who has been a Conservative Member of Parliament since 2005, was given the portfolio while the previous immigration minister, Damian Green, was moved to another position within the Home Office: Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice.

"It is a real privilege to represent the Forest of Dean in Parliament, and I will continue to serve my constituents loyally as I have done for the last seven years," said Mr Harper.

"It was a privilege to be asked by the prime minister to join the coalition Government in 2010 and it is a further honour to be asked to take up this new role in the Home Office."

Along with the Home Secretary Theresa May, Mr Green has made significant changes to UK visa and immigration policy as part of the Government's efforts to reduce net migration to the UK to the 'tens of thousands' by 2015.

Some of the changes made, particularly those affecting international students and skilled migrants, have proved highly controversial and are still entrenched in debate.

However, Mr Green defended the changes right until he was handed a fresh portfolio, and it is likely the same will be expected of Mr Harper as the Government continues its efforts to bring down net migration.

"I look forward to working with Theresa May on playing our part in keeping this country a safe place to live, while making our economy more competitive and ensuring our country is one for people who work hard and want to get on."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.