Closing the door - the true
cost of the Immigration
White Paper

The Immigration White Paper will affect business and cost employers more than £1 billion in red tape, a pro-freedom of movement thinktank has warned.

A report from Global Future, entitled Closing the Door – the true cost of Immigration White Paper says that the end of free movement, introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme and other measures over the next five years will force tens of thousands of workers to encounter ‘the intense bureaucracy’ of the Home Office’s visa system.

On top of this, if the NHS were allowed to fill every job vacancy it currently has with migrant workers, it could face a bill of £580 million in visa and associated fees.

A new Windrush scandal in the making?

Global Future believes that the Home Office immigration service is ‘already creaking’ and will struggle to manage the increase in new status applications.

It sees ‘undeniable parallels’ with last year’s Windrush scandal, but on a larger scale, as the EU migrants who arrived here did not need to hold documents initially, but will do once the law has changed.

Barrier to students

The new fees will prevent EU students from coming to the UK and send them to rival institutions in Europe and around the world, says the report.

‘Our universities are a major British success story, and international students contribute nearly £15bn to the economy each year. But the White Paper creates vast new barriers for European students while doing nothing to help universities against competitors in countries like the US and Australia.’

Skills versus salary

The government’s Immigration White Paper laid the foundations for a ‘Tier 2’-style income threshold to be imposed on EU migrant workers. If this were extended to the whole population, two-thirds of employees wouldn’t qualify as ‘skilled’.

Currently there are 100,000 unfilled jobs in social care and nursing that pay less than £30,000, but are crucial for the economy and health of society.

Temporary workers

The report claims that the government’s proposal to introduce a time-limited route for temporary short-term workers ‘sabotages the government’s own integration strategy‘.

If migrants know they can only stay short-term, they will be discouraged from learning the language, advancing their career, or putting down roots – all of which prevents them from fitting in, but also crucially stops them ploughing back their income into this country in the form of rent or savings.

Smith Stone Walters can help both your employees and your organisation to prepare ahead of any changes to UK immigration policy. Please contact us for more information.

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