English UK responds to the second reading of the Immigration Bill
On Monday 18 May 2020 the Immigration Bill had its second reading, passing by over 100 votes. The Bill as currently drafted ends freedom of movement for EU/ EEA citizens and confers powers to the Home Office to enact changes to the Immigration Rules via secondary legislation.
The Bill is now committed for public scrutiny and English UK has prepared a memorandum and proposed amendment emphasising our key concerns around the Bill, the changes to the immigration rules we would like to see, and requiring the government to commit all future proposals around the rules to expert scrutiny before making changes. We have also indicated that we are willing to appear before the scrutiny committee to present our concerns.
Summary of English UK's proposals for a model new immigration system for UK ELT:
- Create a passport-free joint travel document for group travel for students aged 18 and under
- Create a light-touch, flexible, short-term study visa for up to a year with no time restrictions for all ELT students
- Allow all students already studying in the UK to apply for a new visa for further study without leaving the country
- All English language teaching providers to be accredited, and recognise Accreditation UK on all visa routes
- Restore work rights of up to 20 hours a week for students aged 18 and over studying English language courses with all accredited providers.
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- Government should introduce a temporary workers' regime to support business transition to the new immigration system
- The existing Youth Mobility Scheme should be expanded to include EU/ EEA countries on a reciprocal basis
- There should be mandatory regular reviews of the Shortage Occupation List.