2 Mar 2010

Immigration rules in the UK

Recently, the UK government has made it a lot harder for people coming to the UK as migrants. Not that it was not already difficult in some cases.

The UK has been described as being ‘over-populated’. With around 65M people here, the ‘system’ is overloaded. The ‘benefits system’ which includes many persons seeking asylum, is on the verge of being ‘broke’. The working population, those paying taxes, is getting smaller, and their taxation is rising to support many whom depend on public funds.

By making the changes to the immigration rules the government might be hoping to cut back on the application for visitors. Last year, it was reported that there were nearly 240 thousand applications for student visas, mainly from India and Pakistan. Many of these persons would come here to study, bring their families and some never return home.

Now the government has made it clear that the criteria for study is definitely stricter. No more can families join persons studying courses lasting below 6 months (a ridiculously short time).

English language skills must be to GCSE (‘O’ level) standard. The person must show they can financially support themselves.

They must have health insurance since ‘free’ NHS treatment will be denied. In fact, if owing money to the NHS, the person can be denied entry next time they visit.

"For the first time the UK's immigration rules would state explicitly that a record of failing to discharge payment obligations to the National Health Service will impact upon a person's ability to enter and stay in this country."

[There] are legitimate concerns that some long-term immigrants, and potential terrorists, could use the student route to gain illegal entry to Britain.

The minimum age someone can asked for a marriage visa has been raised from 18 to 21… a rule designed to prevent forced marriages within the (mainly) Asian community.

There are a lot of arguments back and forth about these new rules… both sides usually do have points worthy of consideration.

However, it impacts on every day life for many people.

To give an example… about 3 days ago, I went to an ATM (bank) machine). In front of me were 5 Asians (those of ‘Indian’ appearance as opposed to Chinese/Japanese extraction).

They did not speak English, were unable to read the instructions on the screen to withdraw money, unable to ask for help (even if they felt like ‘trusting’ another person to help), and finally left, after nearly 20 minutes of randomly pressing buttons, without any success.

There are people who come to England, live here for nearly 20 years and cannot yet speak English… or refuse to do so. They segregate themselves in their own little communities, imposing their views on the larger community around them…

Don’t believe me? Take a look at how banks stopped giving out piggy banks so as to not offend Muslims. Or the case of police ordering a homeowner to remove some porcelain pig figurines from her window because Muslim neighbours complained.

I view this as a type of arrogance… if you want to live in the people’s country, obey their rules, integrate and learn to live in harmony.

PS:

The cost of applying for British citizenship has risen over the past 4 years or so… from £285 to £655 to £720 at present. A joint application by husband and wife will cost £850 and a child under 16 is £460 (plus £50 for each additional child).

These fees are application processing fees and are non-refundable. They exclude the fees for the checking service, the Life in the UK test, the Citizenship Ceremony and the passport application fees and processing cost.

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