UK Immigration Minister speaks on UK immigration policy changes

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UK Immigration Minister Damian Green spoke recently at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London about immigration. The Immigration Minister said that the Government wishes to "maximise" the benefits of immigration. The contents of the immigration minister's speech had already been widely reported in the news ahead of the actual speech.

The UK immigration minister went on to say that the UK has benefitted from immigration but 'will only continue to do so if it is properly controlled'. He also said:

'This means that the unsustainable levels of net migration seen in recent years must be brought down.'

UK Immigration has done research recently on immigration into the UK and has published a new report about immigration called "The migrant journey". The immigration report looks at what has happened to immigrants who came into the UK in 2004. According to UK immigration the largest group of migrants were the 186,000 students on student visas. The immigration minister went onto say that more than twenty percent of migrants were still in the UK five years later:

'We need to understand more clearly why a significant proportion of students are still here more than 5 years after their arrival. And we also need a system which can scrutinise effectively, and if necessary take action against, those whose long-term presence would be of little or no economic benefit.'

Immigration Minister Damian Green also said that some Tier 1 highly skilled work route are not doing specialised jobs:

'I was also struck by some of the individual applications I saw under the [Tier 2] skilled worker category: people running takeaway restaurants and production-line workers on salaries in the low £20,000s. These are not the sort of jobs we talk about when we think of bringing in skilled immigrants who have talents not available among our own workforce or the unemployed...

'We will not make Britain prosperous in the long term by telling our own workers "don't bother to learn new skills, we can bring them all in from overseas".'

The UK immigration minister also defended the controversial annual limit on immigration:

'We absolutely need sustainable immigration levels. This will relieve pressure on public services, and stop immigration being such a delicate political issue.

'At the same time, we must be confident enough to say Britain is open for business and study to those who will make this a better country, and a more open society.'

UK immigration has provided enormous economic benefits to the UK economy. Many people have commented that recent changes which have made immigration to the UK more difficult and more expensive will caused harm in the long term to the UK economy. It seems that changes in future will make it more difficult still to obtain a UK visa. If you are interested in UK immigration you should seriously consider making an application now.