In the end, there was no televised debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn; instead, they faced questions separately from the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman on their visions for the future of the United Kingdom. Whilst Mr. Corbyn fared better than was expected – though expectations were never high, it must be said – Mrs. May did not give the ‘strong and stable’ performance her supporters would have hoped for. Central to the questions were the manifesto immigration pledges of each party, and how they intend to tackle such a burning issue.
Manifesto Immigration Pledges – Conservatives
The Conservative Party had the luxury of preparing their manifesto with prior knowledge that a general election was to be called, and in that respect their offering is much more detailed than that of the Labour Party. There are specific figures mentioned to which they could possibly be held, with the most notable of all the Conservative Party’s manifesto immigration pledges being the stated target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands (net migration is currently 273,000). The manifesto states that the Conservative Party aims to reduce and control migration – mostly, it seems, through selective immigration that will address the ‘shortage of skills’ that the Conservative Party believes to exist in the economy.
The Conservative Party aims to increase inward investment to the United Kingdom’s economy, and their manifesto immigration pledges are focused on making ‘immigration work for these sectors’. The way in which the Conservative Party states they will do so is by setting aside visas for workers in sectors that are considered to be strategically important, such as the digital economy. A delicate balancing act, perhaps, and not one that acknowledges the value that migrants in other sectors already bring to the United Kingdom, and that also does not reconcile with the pledge to double the Immigration Skills Charge to £2,000 which will serve only in making it less attractive for businesses to hire non-British nationals. Tough on immigration, tough on the causes of immigration, one might say.
The Conservative Party’s manifesto immigration pledges aim to secure entitlements for EU nationals exercising Treaty rights in the United Kingdom on the one hand, but to also control migrants from the EU on the other. Migrants coming from outside the EU will be targeted with ever higher requirements, however, with increased earnings thresholds for those who wish to sponsor family visas, as well as an increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge for migrant workers (£600) and international students (£450) also being pledged. The ‘hostile environment’ that the government has been committed to creating for undocumented migrants grows ever larger, it seems.
Manifesto Immigration Pledges – Labour
The Labour Party’s manifesto is lacking in the detail that the Conservative Party’s manifesto is able to offer, but differs greatly in its approach to the issue of immigration. Whilst the Labour Party’s manifesto immigration pledges aim to set Labour apart from the Conservatives by removing a number of restrictions to movement, the pledges are mostly consistent with the manifesto’s implicit aim of redistribution of wealth through taxation. This can be evidenced in part through the pledge to reintroduce the Migrant Impact Fund, which was designed to lessen the burden on public services but was scrapped the Cameron government. The Migrant Impact Fund worked through a levy of £50 on non-EEA visas, and it is also pledged by Labour that the Fund will be further boosted by investments required for ‘High Net Worth Individual Visas’. A Labour government, it can therefore be extrapolated, will increase the fees and financial requirements for some visas.
Net migration is not given the weight that it is in the Conservative manifesto, with the idea of migration targets being rebuffed. The Labour Party does pledge to remove student visas from the net migration statistic on the proviso that international students are not permanent residents, however; a sleight of hand will immediately reduce net migration, whilst maintaining the benefits that international students bring.
Though they speak of reform, the Labour Party’s manifesto immigration pledges are otherwise light on detail. They speak of introducing ‘new migration systems’ which may include ‘employer sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix’, but do not speak exactly of how this is to be achieved, or at whom the ‘tailored mix’ will be aimed. The manifesto also comments that the Conservatives intend to turn landlords into immigration officers, which could point to the Right to Rent scheme being removed. But will this mean that agents will be checking the documentation of prospective tenants, or a government department? Again, the details are not clear; what is clear, however, is that Labour are presenting themselves as being ‘not the Tories’, which, if their increase in the polls is to be believed, may yet prove an effective strategy.
Using Legal Representation to Make an Confirm Your Immigration Status in the United Kingdom
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to confirm your immigration status in the United Kingdom.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Confirm Your Immigration Status in the United Kingdom
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.