NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 9, 2006

The British government released details of a new immigration system designed to streamline the application process and make it simpler for doctors, engineers and other highly skilled workers to enter the country.

The system, which is expected to come into force in mid-2007, will apply to citizens of countries outside the Europe. It won't apply to refugees or asylum cases.

  • Highly skilled workers would be admitted without having a job offer; lesser-skilled workers -- such as nurses and teachers -- would be admitted depending on demand.
  • The new program creates a point-based system under which an applicant would earn points for various skills, such as language abilities.
  • However, the plan would make it tougher for lower-skilled workers to stay in the country.

"We want students to come and study in our universities and we want highly skilled workers that we need for our economy," Prime Minister Tony Blair said. "But we want to prevent abuses of the immigration system."

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, however, says that denying lower-skilled and unskilled migrant workers a chance to stay could create a work force ripe for abuse by exploitative employers.

Source: Associated Press, "Immigration System In U.K. Seeks to Draw High-Skill Workers," Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2006.


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