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London Mayor’s new attack on UK Immigration Cap | Immigration Matters

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Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson fired a New Year broadside against his own party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron – with a warning that Government policy on tax and immigration risks harming the economic recovery.

Breaking party ranks on policy, the outspoken Mayor issued a clear warning to the Prime Minister that retaining the 50p top rate of tax would make the British economy ‘uncompetitive’.

The London Mayor, who has previously called for an amnesty to legalise overstayers, also stepped up his criticism of the Government’s immigration cap with a warning that key firms were becoming increasingly ‘hacked off’ with the restrictions on overseas workers.

He suggested that the Government’s desire to look tough on both issues was potentially damaging to the economy.

Downing Street declined to comment but the intervention by Mr Johnson, who is tipped by some as a future Tory leader, will add to Mr Cameron’s irritation with the Mayor’s criticism of Government policy.

The warning on tax comes just days before the controversial increase in VAT to 20 per cent on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson said the 50p tax rate on incomes over £150,000 risked sending out a negative message to the international business community.

The tax was introduced by Labour but has been retained by the Coalition and there are no current plans to scrap it – despite concern among a large number of Tory MPs.

The London Mayor also warned against the banker bashing rhetoric emerging from some parts of the Coalition in the wake of the credit crunch.

Johnson said: ‘The rhetoric does matter. We need to send out a powerful signal to the rest of the world that we are open for business and understand the vital importance of wealth creation, so I do worry a bit about the mood music.

‘It’s no secret that I think in the long run a 50p tax rate is not going to be competitive with our major rivals. They all have lower top rates of tax now than the UK. It can’t go on forever, in my view.’ Source: Daily Mail.

Non-EU migrants and students have seen their routes to the UK blocked by a series of measures in 2010 including an interim immigration cap, later ruled illegal by a High Court Judge, the closure of Tier 1 and a raft of rule changes to the Tier 4 student visa scheme.

In December Immigration Minister Damian Green announced a new public consultation of the reform of the student visa system (implemented last year) and promised ‘tougher entrance criteria, limits on work and an end to students staying in the UK to look for a job’.

Universities and colleges are warning the Government that these measures, combined with the proposed end to the Tier 1 ‘post study work’ visa, will destroy a £40 billion international education market second only to the financial sector in terms of foreign earnings.

Last week the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), a leading think tank, predicted that net UK migration for 2011 would be unlikely to fall much below 200,000 – the same annual level it has been at for much of the last decade – mostly due to European immigration.

Despite the crackdowns and rule changes, everybody knows that the vast majority of immigration comes from within the EU. The UK has little control of millions of Eastern Europeans wishing to work in the UK, as well as migrants exercising EEA rights of settlement.

In reality the only way the Government can reduce net migration below their target ‘tens of thousands’ is to tear up treaties and effectively pull out of the European Union.

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

UK immigration fall unlikely in 2011 say leading think tank 

New Tier 2 Working Visa limit set following Judicial Review

 UK Border Agency’s response to Judicial review loss on interim immigration cap

Interim Immigration Cap unlawful High Court Judges Rule

New rules for Extended Student Visitor Visa for migrants studying English language courses

British MPs voice ‘profound concern’ over Home Office plans to bar foreign students

Government lays down plans to reform UK student visa system and launch public consultation 

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Tier 2 Working Visas, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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