Home Secretary Theresa May announced on 23 November that the United Kingdom’s Tier 1 General Migrant visa route will close April 2011. The decision is one of many changes to immigration policy under the new coalition government. The justification is such that one-third of migrants accepted for a highly skilled visa actually end up in low-skilled work. In 2009, the UK approved my Tier 1 General Migrant visa application. It is a lengthy, difficult process aimed at drawing so-called highly skilled workers to emigrate to the UK. I have made a decent time of it so far; I am in the two-thirds percentage who have successfully found highly skilled work.
Immigration policy is an incredibly complex issue and I suspect living through an upheaval of the law will affect my own views concerning immigration in the United States. There are, of course, fundamental differences between migrants living in a country legally to those who have made a life illegally. However, the issue becomes clouded on both sides in calling for deportation or stricter rules whilst already trying to make a life for yourself in a country you aren’t a born citizen of.
It’s unsettling to see the door I walked through sealed off behind me. This isn’t the first change to the application. One month after my approval, the government set the visa skill requirements to a level I could never have applied to. I felt extraordinarily fortunate at the time — now, all the more.