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thesilverspear 07-05-2012 02:13 PM

Proposed nasty changes to UK immigration laws
 
I am an international student here in Britain and have graduated with my PhD this year. I came intending to stay, all things going well, and even brought my horse across from the States. Over the course of my studies here, I have sadly watched the government become increasingly anti-immigrant and start treating international students as nothing more than disposable cash cows. When I started my PhD, there was a two year visa one could apply for after their studies which would give you two years to find a "proper" job or a spouse/civil partner. It was all pretty friendly. This scheme disappeared in April of this year. Now they want international students to pay exorbitant fees and then just bugger off afterwards. International students and academics bring diversity, money, and prestige to UK unis.

Then, to add insult to injury, in June the government announced that it would be changing the family immigration rules on July 9th. Under these proposed changes, a UK citizen cannot bring in a non-EU spouse or civil partner unless he or she makes over 18,600 per year. This disqualifies 47% of British people generally and 58% of British people aged 20-30 from settling in the UK with the partner of their choice. You think this might not affect you, but then it might. What if you or your son or daughter falls in love with one of your or their foreign classmates while at uni? I doubt he or she will make the income threshold as a fresh graduate. Or what if they are studying or travelling abroad and wish to marry a citizen of that country and then come back here? The right to a family and privacy should not belong only to the rich. "Immigrants" are not this dirty underclass looking to suck the life out of the British welfare state, no matter what rubbish Theresa May and the Daily Mail may spout. We are graduates, hard workers, we have come to love this country (for some reason; it doesn't seem to care much for us) and in some cases, the people in it. It's heartless. After six years of studying in the UK, I have developed a life here; friends, my husband, my pony.... Many others will be in similar situations or even have children.

This is going to create a "brain drain" and isn't going to help the country in the long run. Probably the opposite, as the smart people trained in British unis leave and perhaps, their British partners will have to leave, to go into exile with them.

As for me, my British husband does not make the income threshold but we have sent in our visa application, which will be reviewed under the old rules. So we should, fingers crossed, be okay. But thousands of people will be unable to do this. Should they be denied the right to have their families or worse, be separated from their families, due to Coalition's attempts to score political points against what is, lets face it, a pretty voiceless group?

The change hasn't happened yet. It will be discussed and probably (unless a big enough fuss is kicked up) implemented on July 9th. I'm just raising awareness however I can, as the media isn't. But if you think it matters, or if it effects you, write to your MP or post about it on Facebook or whatever. This is ridiculous, mean, not to mention in possible violation of EU law, and I am hoping someone in Westminster sees sense.

kitten_Val 07-05-2012 02:26 PM

I'm sorry about your situation, silver!

What can I say... Immigration laws (int students as well as getting green card) here in US seem to be more strict. I assume there should be an explanation why they make it more tight in UK.

Golden Horse 07-05-2012 02:37 PM

Mmmmm, the UK for to long has been an open house, walk in here you go, have all of our benefits, it is a small island, and lets face it is well over crowded.

I agree immigration brings diversity, but hey, my country of choice, USA, wouldn't even consider DH and I, to well off, but not well off enough, and despite the 'special relationship' between the UK and USA, there is no easy entry for white, lower middle class people.

Canada though, well they welcomed us with open arms once we had jumped through all the hoops and passed all the tests.

I know more about leaving the UK than trying to get in, and my first though was "why do you want to get in there"

I don't know how the new rules stack up against other countries, but I do feel sorry for anyone who thought that they were going to be OK and a rule change blows their life apart, that sucks big time

kitten_Val 07-05-2012 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden Horse (Post 1582108)
I agree immigration brings diversity, but hey, my country of choice, USA, wouldn't even consider DH and I, to well off, but not well off enough, and despite the 'special relationship' between the UK and USA, there is no easy entry for white, lower middle class people.

True. Immigrating to Canada is a piece of cake comparable to immigrating to US (unless you do it through the marriage).

thesilverspear 07-05-2012 05:07 PM

The US is really nasty to immigrants. If we can't stay in Britain (our immigration lawyer was very optimistic so hoping this is all academic), we'll not easily be able to go to the US, either. The best option at that point is to move to another EU country like Ireland, which would make my husband and I subject to more friendly, liberal laws under his rights as an EEA citizen. It makes no bloody sense to me, either.

gunslinger 07-06-2012 11:55 AM

None of my business, but of what country are you a citizen, and why don't you want to return there?

Lakotababii 07-06-2012 12:16 PM

Makes me happy I was lucky enough to be born exactly where I want to build my life. I've heard the US is hard to get in to. Glad I'm a natural citizen.

OP I hope you can get where you want to go, wherever that may be.

kitten_Val 07-06-2012 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunslinger (Post 1583502)
None of my business, but of what country are you a citizen, and why don't you want to return there?

I don't know about OP, but I can name lots of countries people try not to return to: many (if not most or all) in Africa, Asia, some European countries, you name it.

AlexS 07-08-2012 12:22 PM

I moved to the US from the UK with my ex, when we split up I wanted to stay here, but it's extremely difficult - thankfully I met my husband and married. If I had not, I would have to prove that I have an exceptional skill to get a visa.

That exceptional skill is almost impossible to be able to demonstrate as you have to show that you are unique and an American could not be hired over you. Well even if I were a brain surgeon, an American brain surgeon could do the same job. The only situation I think where you could prove this, is if you are some kind of artist, so your work is truly unique to you.

kitten_Val 07-08-2012 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexS (Post 1586921)
That exceptional skill is almost impossible to be able to demonstrate as you have to show that you are unique and an American could not be hired over you. Well even if I were a brain surgeon, an American brain surgeon could do the same job. The only situation I think where you could prove this, is if you are some kind of artist, so your work is truly unique to you.

Not quite true, Alex. :wink: You could always take the road of F1 -> H1 (or just H1) -> green card and you don't have to be exceptional, BUT it's hard still, because you have to find an employer who'd agree to sponsor your work visa. Marriage seems to be the easiest way to go (unless you violated certain rules).


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