Home Secretary's announcement on immigration
6 October 2016
Home Secretary Amber Rudd today announced major changes to the immigration system during her speech to Conservative Party Conference.
Her speech was part of the Conservatives’ ‘Social Reforms’ package, which recognised that “recent levels of immigration motivated a large part of the vote” to leave the European Union. Rudd also added that the Conservative Government was elected to deliver the net migration target of ‘tens of thousands’ – a sustainable level target that will “not be easy” but “committed to delivering it”.
The Home Secretary announced:
- A new, tougher, Resident Labour Market Test will be introduced to make it harder for businesses to recruit from abroad. The Home Secretary said the current system is just a ‘tick box exercise’ and does not incentivise British companies to invest in the local workforce.
- The Tier 4 visa will be overhauled once again. This time overseas students will have to prove the quality of their degree, their ability to undertake the course, and future prospective employability. Furthermore, sponsorship licenses may be restricted to certain universities.
- EU migrants with offending histories will be deported. Those who have committed multiple minor crimes will also be deported. Re-entry will be denied for between 5 and 10 years.
- Introduction of a new ‘Controlling Migration Fund’ which will ease pressure on public services in areas with high migration. The fund will be £140million and comes with provisions to stop irregular migration, rough sleeping, and tackling rogue landlords. It will also help setup English language courses for legal migrants who need assistance.
It might also be of interest that the Home Secretary announced
- From December 2016 landlords’ provisions in the Immigration Act 2016 will come into force. Landlords who rent out property to irregular migrants will now be considered as a criminal offence that could lead to imprisonment.
- From December 2016 taxi drivers will now need to go through immigration checks to gain license to drive a minicab.
The Home Secretary reiterated her commitment to reducing net migration to ‘tens of thousands’ and warned that the government will not be taking a different approach to the current trajectory.
A new Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) will have an impact on the ability of business to recruit from abroad. We will look closely at the proposals once they are published. The government is likely to look at toughening-up how the current tests are carried out by expecting firms to carry out more rigorous domestic recruitment processes and produce evidence of exhausting all avenues of recruiting locally. We are now going into a Government consultation phase.
The government has a long-term plan to reduce migration from the EU and some of the low hanging fruits, such as deporting foreign nationals with criminal pasts, is the first step of many new measures to be announced over the next 6 months.