The UK Border Agency have let an unknown number of people into the UK through ports and airports without proper checks of their biometric information, passports and identity over summer 2011.
In what has proved to be a controversial story since it broke, it now seems that Theresa May may be fighting to save her position as Home Secretary. Further details continue to emerge on a daily basis and May today faces an opposition-day debate in the Commons.
The discovery of severe reductions in UK border checks comes ahead of further tightenings of the Immigration Rules from a government supposedly cracking down on immigration and abuses of the immigration system.
With Brodie Clark - who has already resigned in protest at May’s accusations that he is responsible - keen to talk to the Home Affairs Select Committee to offer his version of events it seems that May is fighting a difficult position.
Further details can be found on the link above - it is clear, however, that there is more to come from this controversial story.
The Home Secretary has announced the UKBA will be split into two separate new bodies following the publication of the critical report, An investigation into border security checks, by the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine.
The Home Secretary tried to put a positive slant on the report’s findings but the Shadow Home Secretary and Brodie Clark, former head of the UKBA who was forced to resign last year, suggest otherwise.
Further details on this, including the specific recommendations provided in the report, can be found on www.lifeintheuk.net. It will be interesting to see how these recommendations marry up with the Home Secretary’s forthcoming plans.
Skilled migrants will only qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as settlement, in the future if they are earning a minimum salary. The Home Secretary has announced the plan as a move towards creating a temporary migrant workforce in the UK.
The new rules will mean that any skilled worker who has been in the UK for five years will now need to earn at least £35,000 per annum in order to qualify for ILR. It is expected that there will be some exceptions to the limit, including a lower earnings threshold for jobs in shortage or at PhD level.
Further details will no doubt be introduced in due course. With the publication of a new Life in the UK Test due in coming weeks as well, however, the government is showing no signs of releasing pressure on the immigration system.
For more information see www.lifeintheuk.net