HSMP Forum’s Press Release - Highly Skilled Migrants to return to UK

Dt - 11th July 2008

In an embarrassing U-turn on previous policy, the Home Office published Policy Guidance implementing the HSMP Forum Ltd Judicial Review on 10 July 2008. The High Court earlier ruled on 8 April 2008 in favour of the HSMP Forum that the changes which were implemented in December 2006 were unlawful, thus forcing the Immigration Ministry to reverse the illegal changes which was applied to existing migrants.
 
The new Policy Guidance covers migrants who were admitted under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) scheme before 5th December 2006. Various categories of migrants are covered under the policy including those who were refused extension under the unlawful rules, those migrants who did not apply for extension and migrants who have either switched immigration categories to more restrictive visa regimes or those who left the UK . HSMP Forum earlier wrote to the Border and Immigration Agency ensuring that various categories of affected migrants get their HSMP status back including those who left the country due to the unfair and unlawful changes are reinstated as per their earlier HSMP status in UK .
 
Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of HSMP Forum said “we are delighted to have achieved our objective in fighting the manifest injustice of retrospectively applied legislation. We are happy to have fulfilled our commitment in ensuring those affected by the November 2006 illegal changes are able to return back to UK with due honour. Not only that even the time they spent in their home country after the changes would be counted towards the settlement criteria on their return to UK. We will observe the details of the implementation of the High Court's judgement closely and would work with the Home Office to ensure that all affected Highly Skilled Migrants are treated justly with respect and dignity in restoring their status as highly skilled migrants in the UK .”
 
Those migrants whose extensions were refused after the November 2006 unlawful changes will not have to pay application fee again for a review of the decision under the old criteria which existed prior to November 2006. Application forms and guidance notes would be available on BIA website by next week.
 
Camillus Osubor, Head of Policy & Resources, HSMP Forum said “HSMP Forum would continue to support and assist migrants under the world-renowned British principles of fair-play, equality and justice and we would continue to challenge any such policies which undermine migrants’ interests”.
 
HSMP Forum is presently considering yet another legal challenge for the April 2006 retrospective changes in the indefinite leave to remain qualifying criteria from 4 to 5 years. The changes have affected thousands of existing migrants who came to UK under HSMP, Work Permit and Ancestral visas.
 
Background: Check page 1 of the below link (policy document).
 
 
 
Notes to the editor:
 
1) Immigration Ministry had introduced a new Point Based System in November 2006 and had retrospectively imposed it on the Highly Skilled Migrants who were admitted under the HSMP scheme prior to November 2006. Approximately 49,000 migrants and their families entered the scheme between January 2002 and November 2006.
 
2) UK High Court, in its landmark judgment, ruled on 8th April 2008 that the Judicial Review application filed by HSMP Forum Limited against unfair retrospective changes to Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) in November 2006 has been successful. The high court ordered "It is ordered and declared that this claim be allowed and that the defendant (Secretary of State for the Home Department) has acted unlawfully in applying H.C. 1702 Rule 135D to persons already admitted to the Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme as at the 7th day of November 2006."
 
 

 
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