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New Immigration Rules Could Hurt Employers | Immigration Matters

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As reported in previous Immigration Matters (see, the Immigration and Asylum Bill currently going through parliament is causing grave concerns among employer organisations. Left unchallenged, changes like the proposal to remove of the right of appeal on visa refusals will have far reaching consequences for work permit holders, universities and employers. Thousands of nursing homes which depend on overseas staff to make up for shortfalls in the resident workforce will be hit.


There are wider implications than restrictions on overseas nursing and care staff. Properly managed immigration is vital for Britain’s economy. Home Office research has shown that legal migrants contribute £2.5 billion more in taxes than they consume in services and have little or no adverse affect on the wages or employment levels of the existing population.

Immigration is also good for business and entrepreneurship. A recent report by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Ethnic Minority Business Forum estimates that the UK’s 250,000 ethnic minority businesses contribute £15 billion a year to the economy.

Another study published last summer by Barclays Bank showed that the number of Black and Minority Ethnic (dubbed BME) start-ups had reached record levels, growing by more than a third to hit 50,000 new businesses in 2004 — 11% of all business start-ups. Source: Sunday Times.

Many nursing home owners were first or second generation immigrants who came the Britain with little or no money. Dr Chai Patel arrived in Britain with his parents in 1969. After qualifying as a doctor he used his business acumen to become one of the leading figures in the healthcare industry. Dr Patel runs the Priory Clinics and is among the architects of the Government’s policies on the elderly and an adviser on the Department of Health’s older people’s taskforce.

The 2004 Asian Rich List, compiled by Dr Philip Beresford and published by Sunrise Radio, reported that the top 300 UK based Asian millionaires had a combined wealth of £14.3 billion. Among those featured were Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, who grew up in impoverished Kenya, have built up Waymade Healthcare into a £400 million business.

Many of the older generation on the list came from India and Pakistan with no money in their pockets and around 10% of those featured came to Britain as refugees having lost everything after been thrown out of Kenya or Idi Amin’s Uganda.

Some of the leading high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were started by Jews fleeing Eastern Europe in the late 19th century and French Huguenots escaping the persecution of Louis XIV in the 17th century helped found the Bank of England.

These people did not come here as the “Highly Skilled Migrants” the government is now seeking to attract, in place of lower skilled workers, and many would not qualify under the current rules.


Be prepared for an even tighter regime on work permits, visas, leave to remain and extensions. This will hurt employers at a time when many are already finding it more difficult to obtain work permits following the expansion of the EU in May 2004. With Dame Denise Platt, Chair of the CSCI, already warning that “staff shortages are putting patients at risk”, what impact will these new restrictions have on staffing levels and standards of care? Clearly, the industry is still suffering from a shortage of skilled care staff, which could easily be solved by bringing in people from countries like India and The Philippines where there is a surplus of care workers.


I believe the industry must act now, before it’s too late. The industry needs to lobby and campaign for a fair immigration system that fully meets the needs of healthcare employers. Write to Home Secretary Charles Clarke or Home Office Minister Tony McNulty and make them aware of your concerns or email me.

As immigration advisers we come across a number of students and Senior Carers in need of job placements which we pass on to employers at no charge. If any employers are willing to employ these candidates (usually from The Philippines or India), there will be no fees or Work Permit charges. We also have a number of adaptation students looking for placements. They came here after been promised places which failed to materialise, Please email us.

If you should have any questions concerning any of the above issues please email Charles Kelly call 020 8905 1822.

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