New changes to the points-based immigration system could deter skilled migrant workers from coming to the UK, campaigners have warned.
They believe that some of the changes which were implemented yesterday by the UK Border Agency are unfair.
The rules deal with tier 1 and tier 2 of the points based system and an increase in the application fees for extensions and that of settlement.
Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum said: "We are concerned of the following new changes:
"For Tier 1: We believe reducing the initial leave period to two years rather than the present three years will cause difficulties for highly-skilled migrants in seeking suitable employment and to meet the required salaries threshold under tier 1.
"Employers also do not tend to invest in training of individuals with short duration visas and wherein the position concerned is of managerial level the employers may consider a shorter duration of visa to be a disadvantage.
"For Tier 2: Intra-company transfers constitute a major share of applicants under tier two. We are very concerned over the new rules under which right to settlement (permanent residence) will be denied for those coming under intra company transfers. We believe such draconian measures will only lead to further exploitation of migrants in the UK.
"We are concerned with the timing of implementation of these changes which seems to be politically motivated rather than a real need for the British economy.
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The HSMP Forum at the same time acknowledged the reintroduction of points for those with Bachelors degrees as a welcome change and also that the changes to intra company transfers will not be applied to migrants who are in the UK retrospectively, which means those already in the UK on intra company transfers (established staff) sub category can continue towards settlement.
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