Home Secretary Sajid Javid Relaxes Immigration Rules for First Time Since 2010, Visa Cap to Rise by Thousands

Sajid Javid Home Office
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The new Home Secretary will unveil a major relaxation of immigration rules, for the first time in eight years, to encourage thousands of skill migrants to arrive before Brexit.

Sajid Javid says the change is aimed at professions including IT experts and engineers, and it is likely to be extended to National Health Service (NHS) medical staff.

It is his first major immigration policy and signals a significant shift in Home Office approach since the time of Theresa May and Amber Rudd, who tightened or maintained stricter rules.

Employers will be allowed to bring in an extra 8,000 foreign skilled workers every year, effectively increasing the cap by 40 percent, The Telegraph reports.

The Home Office also announced Wednesday a new visa route for graduates and foreigners looking to start a business in the UK. Mr Javid said: “We want to do more to attract businesses to the UK and our migration system plays a key part in that.”

Theresa May, as Home Secretary and Prime Minister, resisted numerous calls to relax the system and blocked efforts by Amber Rudd, the previous Home Secretary, to reform the “tier 2 system” pertaining to skilled workers.

Mr Javid will also announce the first review in five years of the professions that qualify for visas in a move that could see GPs, teachers, and other groups handed the right to come to Britain under tier 2 visas.

Lord Green of Deddington, the Chairman of Migration Watch, commented: “This is the first time that immigration policy has been significantly softened since Mrs May became Home Secretary in 2010.

“It may be necessary, at least temporarily to cope with the prospect of Brexit, but in the longer term the answer has to be to train our own medics and not take them from countries that need them far more than we do.”

Alp Mehmet, the Vice Chairman of the group, said the UK is “far more dependent on foreign-trained doctors and nurses than other countries. Doctors in particular – we have something like 30 percent trained overseas.

“In comparable countries like France, [it’s] something like nine percent. The Netherlands: three percent. Canada and the United States: many fewer than us.”

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he added: “I don’t think that the medical sector should be allowed to get away with the fact that they haven’t prepared for something that they should have seen coming.”

The quality of foreign staff has been questioned, with a freedom of information request from 2016 revealing that 74 percent of medics struck off in the UK for bad practice are of foreign origin.

The NHS is currently pushing to train more British nurses ahead of Brexit, but this takes time, and a large proportion go to work in other developed nations after they qualify because of better pay and conditions.

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