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2015 Immigration Bill Targets Migrant Workers
The state opening of parliament in the UK last Wednesday saw the Queen deliver a speech prepared by Prime Minister David Cameron's team, in which she outlined the new Conservative government's agenda for the next five years in office.
Among the announcements made in the Queen's Speech was a new immigration bill, which promises tougher measures to 'control immigration' and 'support working people'.
Currently the Immigration Act 1971 means that migrants that have leave to remain but who breach their conditions of leave by working illegally can receive up to 6 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine. However, the law does not presently apply to migrants who entered the country illegally, or visa overstayers.
This year's bill includes plans to create a new criminal offence: 'Illegal Working'. The new law would give the police powers to prosecute all migrants working illegally, as well as their employers, and allows undocumented migrants' earnings to be seized as 'proceeds of crime'.
UK Tier 2 (General) Visa Limit Almost Reached
The University of Oxford's Migration Observatory (OMO) reported on May 14th that the limit on UK Tier 2 visas for skilled migrants was almost exceeded in the one year period ending April 2015.
The UK Tier 2 (General) visa is to enable UK employers holding a Tier 2 sponsorship licence to employ skilled migrants from outside of the European Economic Area. In order to obtain a Tier 2 visa migrants must have a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by an UK employer with a Tier 2 sponsorship licence, meet the Tier 2 English language and maintenance funds requirements, and score 70 points or more on the Tier 2 points test.
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UK Visa applicants incorrectly advised by the Home Office
Criticism has been aimed at the Home Office after they advised two Indian Entrepreneurs, hoping to stay in Scotland, to contact candidates for the UK parliamentary elections rather than their local Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP).
The Scottish National Party (SNP) labelled the advice ‘negligent’ and ‘ridiculous’ because unelected parliamentary candidates have no special status when it comes to intervening in UK immigration matters.
The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) service made the statement after Maneesh Varshney and Vivek Kumar had sought assistance from Nicola Sturgeon and Gordon MacDonald, an SNP MSP.
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