London: As part of continuing efforts to
reduce migration from India and other countries outside the
European Union, the David Cameron government on Thursday announced
proposals that seek to prevent foreign professionals from
settling here permanently.
The proposals, announced in a consultation exercise,
will affect Indian skilled workers as well as domestic workers
such as cooks and `ayahs`, who travel to Britain with their
Immigration minister Damian Green said: "We want the
brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong
contribution to our economy while they are here, and then
Campaign groups said that if foreign professionals
were not allowed to settle here permanently, they would rather
migrate to countries such as Canada and Australia.
Amit Kapadia of the Highly Skilled Migrants Forum said that it will launch a protest against the plans.
India is among three countries mentioned in the
consultation document from where the most number of overseas
domestic workers come to Britain; the other two are the
Philippines and Indonesia.
The tighter rules will also affect diplomats from
India and other non-EU countries posted her who bring along
their domestic help.
Under current rules, migrants who work in Britain for
five years are allowed to settle here permanently.
The proposals seek to break this link between working
and automatic permanent settlement, except for a limited
number of high worth individuals.
The plans include re-classifying UK visas as either
`temporary` or `permanent` and introduce stricter criteria for
those who want to stay.
Green said that the proposals were aimed at "breaking
the link between temporary and permanent migration."
He said: "Settlement has become almost automatic for
those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The
immigration system has got to be made to work properly.
We want the brightest and best workers to come to the
UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are
here, and then return home."
The consultation proposes that people earning over
150,000 pounds or doing jobs that have a specific economic or
social value to the UK be allowed to stay in the country
Plans include a new category to allow most
exceptionally talented skilled workers to apply to stay after
a three-year period in the UK.
Home secretary Theresa May said: "I shall break that
link and return to a position where Britain will continue to
attract the brightest and best workers, who will make a strong
contribution to our economy and society during their stay,
then return home.
A small number of exceptional migrants will be able
to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work
will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK.