In a bid to tighten visa rules, a draft bill in the British Parliament proposes to replace the five current application categories of immigrants with a clear-cut concept — ‘permission’ — to be in the country.
Under the new Immigration Bill, immigrants will either be granted permission or refused, making the rules easier for applicants and staff.
Those in the United Kingdom must gain permission or face removal for breaking the law.
These proposals are the next step in building on the rapid progress the government has made in tightening up Britain’s border controls.
Over the past three years, the UK has seen the introduction of e-Borders to check individuals in and out of the country and the implementation of the points-based system which ensures that only those who benefit the economy can come here to work.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday announced that doors will be shut to highly skilled non-EU doctors and engineers, and the government will consider denying visa to students seeking entry to short-term programmes.
In order to bring together the essential changes that have already taken place, the government is proposing a new bill to bring forward a new legal framework to simplify and consolidate 40 years of immigration laws.
“This government has implemented the biggest overhaul of the immigration system for a generation, and it is important that UK laws reflect these changes,” Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said.
“I believe that Parliament should be in primary control of immigration — this bill will ensure that Parliament and not case law determines policy,” he added.
He said the draft immigration Bill will enable the government to work more efficiently and is the next step in bringing together the strong measures put in place to control our borders and making them simple to use and enforce.
The new, temporary, time-limited, permission will be given for a particular purpose to visit, work or study and is subject to conditions such as access to work or public funds.
Permanent residents will be given permission without any time limit or conditions attached.
The draft bill also proposes a new streamlined power of expulsion replacing the current powers of deportation and removal, individuals who are issued with an expulsion order will be required to leave the UK and will not be able to re-enter while the order is in force.