Stafford MP welcomes immigration reforms from new Home Secretary

Jeremy Lefroy MP has welcomed the recent announcement by Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP that he will be reforming a number of immigration rules, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to encouraging highly talented workers to come to the UK. The reforms come in a number of areas.

The first is Tier 2 highly skilled workers. Since 2011, Tier 2 has operated an annual cap of 20,700, divided into monthly allocations.  The cap was based on the advice of the independent Migration Advisory Committee in 2011. This limit has been oversubscribed since December 2017.  In view of this, and the real pressures which the NHS is currently under, as a temporary measure all doctors and nurses will be exempted from the Tier 2 cap. This change will mean that, from 6 July, doctors and nurses will be able to be sponsored without putting pressure on the entire immigration system.  This will also free up space for other highly skilled occupations, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers which make an important contribution to our economy and the prosperity of our nation.

The second reform is to the Tier 1 start up visa. The scope of the Exceptional Talent route will be extended. This builds on the doubling of the route to 2,000 places in January this year. The changes will open up the route to include leading fashion designers and a wider pool of TV and film applicants. From spring 2019 a new Start-up visa will be introduced for those looking to start their first business in the UK. The new route will widen our current, successful Graduate Entrepreneur route by opening it up to a wider pool of talented business founders.

The third reform will be to introduce a bespoke immigration status so that individuals who are relocated to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 who do not qualify for international protection can remain here long term. The Government takes the welfare of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee children extremely seriously. Most of the children who have arrived have already been granted Refugee Leave or humanitarian protection, however there were some who would have been refused under the existing Rules which is why this new form of leave to ensure all of the children can stay is being created.

The other reforms include introducing a dedicated settlement provision in the Immigration Rules to put beyond doubt that Afghan nationals, who worked with our Armed Forces in Afghanistan and have relocated to the UK with their families, will be able to apply to stay permanently, and changes that will make it easier for students to come and study in UK’s world-leading education sector. This will mean expanding the list of countries from which students will be able to benefit from a streamlined application process.

Commenting Jeremy said:

“I am very encouraged that new Home Secretary has quickly made his mark by announcing these pragmatic and fair reforms to the immigration system. The reforms will relieve pressure on our NHS and clearly demonstrate the Government’s commitment to a reasonable and humanitarian immigration system.”