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30 Nov 12:59

About our UK Immigration news

Latest news on UK immigration, covering all the latest headlines on asylum seekers, Channel boats, the post-Brexit migration system and more.

The UK immigration system has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly following the country's decision to leave the European Union in 2016. The UK government has introduced new immigration policies aimed at reducing overall levels of immigration and increasing the number of highly skilled workers coming to the country.

One of the most significant changes has been the introduction of a points-based system for work visas. Under this system, applicants must meet certain criteria related to their skills, qualifications, and job offer in order to qualify for a visa. The system is designed to prioritise highly skilled workers, with additional points available for applicants who have job offers in certain shortage occupations or who have a PhD.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, EU citizens who wish to work or study in the UK must apply for a visa under the new points-based system. The government has also introduced a settlement scheme for EU citizens who were already living in the UK before the end of the transition period.

Asylum seekers and refugees remain a significant issue in the UK, with a backlog of cases and concerns about the treatment of those seeking asylum. The government has faced criticism for its handling of asylum claims, including proposals to process claims offshore and plans to create "reception centres" for asylum seekers.

Recently, the UK government has introduced the 'Stop the Boats' - or Illegal Migration - Bill, aimed at reducing or ending small boat crossings in the English Channel by detaining and removing those who arrive in the UK through illegal means and blocking them from returning. The bill follows a significant increase in the number of migrants crossing the English Channel by boat, with 3,150 arrivals recorded as of March 2023. The proposed bill has received criticism from UK rights groups and United Nations agencies, with concerns raised about its legality. The bill also sparked controversy when BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker criticised its language, leading to his removal from his presenting role on Match of the Day, which in turn caused other journalists and commentators to withdraw in support of him. The suspension was lifted by the BBC on 13 March, pledging to review its guidance.

Immigration remains a divisive issue in the UK, with strong opinions on both sides. Supporters of immigration argue that it is essential for the UK's economy and cultural diversity, while opponents argue that it puts pressure on public services and job opportunities for UK citizens.

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