Prime Minister announces immigration reforms
05 August 2014
On 28 July, David Cameron announced in a Telegraph article a number of reforms that will be made to the UK's current immigration system.
These changes are part of a long-term plan to "secure a better future for Britain", which includes controlling immigration as a vital part of it. The primary goals of these changes are to clamp down on abuses, to ensure the "right people are coming here for the right reasons" and to make sure "the British people get a fair deal".
The amended rules will come into force over the next six months. The key changes are as follows:
- Sponsored international students: At present, educational institutions cannot retain highly trusted sponsor status (Tier 4 student visa sponsorship licence) if 20% of the individuals they offer places to are refused visas. Following a three-month transitional period to allow universities and colleges to change their admissions procedures, this figure will be reduced to 10%.
- Benefits for European migrants: From November onwards, the period over which European migrants can claim benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance will be halved to a maximum of three months. This follows changes made earlier this year, whereby migrants must wait a minimum of three months before they are able to claim benefits.
- Landlords: From November, landlords will be required to check whether tenants are legally entitled to be in the UK.
- Bank accounts: From December, banks will need to check whether migrants are in the UK legally before allowing them to open bank accounts.
- Overseas-only job adverts: Under this change, job agencies will legally have to advertise vacancies in Britain and in English, not just overseas. This is intended to prevent UK employers from "hunting out cheap labour abroad while too many young people are out of work".