UNITED KINGDOM – NEW GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT QUOTA?
The new UK government took office last month with Damian Green appointed as Minister for Immigration.
The coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has reached compromise on many issues. However the government has still retained the Conservative idea of a “cap” or quota on numbers, as their main immigration policy.
The following is an extract from the agreed Programme for Government on the subject of immigration;
“The Government believes that immigration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy, but that it must be controlled so that people have confidence in the system. We also recognise that to ensure cohesion and protect our public services, we need to introduce a cap on immigration and reduce the number of non EU immigrants.”
No timeframe has been indicated for this and it is important to stress that it does not affect EU migrants or migrants in other categories such as spouses, students etc..
However, this may logically result in an annual quota of visas to be granted, in categories such as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Applicants intending to apply in these categories may be advised to start the process sooner rather than later, in case a future quota would work to their detriment.
In any event, new figures show that net migration to the UK is set to drop below 100,000 a year. This of course is a key target of the new government – the aim of reducing the level to “tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands”.
New official immigration figures show that more eastern European migrants (from the 2004 Accession countries such as Poland) are leaving than arriving.
The annual citizenship figures for 2009 also published show more than 203,000 people were granted UK citizenship last year.
The overall statistics show a continued decline in net migration to the UK – the number of people coming to work and study minus the number of people leaving to live abroad – to 142,000 in the year to September 2009. This compares with a net migration figure of 160,000 in the previous year to September 2009.
AUSTRALIA – NEW OCCUPATIONS LIST
A new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for migration to Australia has been published by the Department of Immigration.
The new SOL contains fewer occupations than the old SOL, with a reduction from 408 to 181 occupations.
The new list does not affect those whose applications have already been submitted. It also does not affect those looking to apply through State sponsorship.
All State governments in Australian will still be able to sponsor skilled migrants in accordance with the State’s own “State Migration Plan” regardless of whether the migrant’s occupation is on the SOL.
The government’s review into the points system has still not been published.
If you are looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.