Migration and the UK

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CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Canada introduced the first points system in the late 1960s. This approach was subsequently adopted by Australia in 1989, New Zealand in 1991, the Czech Republic in 2003, Singapore in 2004, Hong Kong in 2006, Denmark in 2007 and the United Kingdom in 2008. Even the European Union has tentatively sought to push a ‘blue’ card proposal designed to offer freedom of movement throughout the EU to the most highly skilled non-EU workers.

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However, as the proposal stands it would not offer permanent residency and is only valid for two years, albeit on a renewable basis. EU member states are now in the process of adopting the new rules although doubts remain about whether it will generate much take-up. Governments have found the point’s system approach attractive for a number of reasons: Economic, Fiscal and Political. In March 2006, the Home Office presented Command Paper 6741 to Parliament entitled A Points-Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain. Within this document lie the structure of the PBS, how it differs from previous immigration policies, and thorough explanations of its different components. To fully understand how and why the PBS came into existence, it is essential to examine, analyse and ultimately criticize this document. By comprehending the PBS‟s stated purpose and desired outcome alongside its deficiencies and expected and unexpected outcomes, it will be possible to determine where it truly fits into British immigration policy. The Home Office introduced the new point based system for immigration. The system awards points to workers from outside the European Area (EEA) for skills that reflect experience, age etc. In terms of the education sector, there are two main aims to this legislation:

  1. To reduce the number of illegal students and educational establishments
  2. To keep a tight rein on who can enter the country and when.

PURPOSE OF THE PBS Home Secretary Charles Clarke (6) stated that “achieving greater public confidence in the immigration system remains one of my top priorities as Home Secretary” (2006). (7) As “the most significant change to managed migration in the last 40 years” (2006), the PBS‟s purpose is to clearly designate who is allowed into the UK and on what pretext. As part of a five-year strategy to overhaul the British asylum and immigration system (8), the PBS replaced a previously complex and subjective system with a standardized process that would, in theory, be easier both for applicants as for the deciding government. Part of the belief behind the PBS is that migration would be managed; it will also secure borders and prevent abuses to the system, it will be economically and culturally beneficial to UK. Some of the benefits of migration listed include the disproportionate contribution of migrants to the British economy (in 2001 they contributed 10%GDP while composing only 8% of those employed),

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