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HSMP case: UK compensation for Indian migrant professionals

In a major legal victory, nearly 10,000 Indian and other non-European Union professionals will be able to claim compensation for hardship caused by the 2006 changes to immigration rules that were struck down by the High Court in London.

world Updated: Apr 07, 2009 12:40 IST

In a major legal victory, nearly 10,000 Indian and other non-European Union professionals will be able to claim compensation for hardship caused by the 2006 changes to immigration rules that were struck down by the High Court in London.

The court last evening ruled that the changes to the rules, extending the number of years required for indefinite stay in the UK from four to five years under which they originally entered Britain, were unfair.

It is the second time in a year that the retrospective changes to the programme for the “brightest and best” migrants, including Indians doctors and other professionals, have been declared unfair and unlawful by the court.

In a strongly-worded ruling, Justice Cox declared that the five-year rule imposed by the Home Office on people already in the country was unlawful.

“It would be unlawful for the (Home Secretary) to withhold indefinite leave to remain from all those members of the highly skilled migrant programme who were already on the scheme before April 3, 2006, by reference to a qualifying period of five years’ continuous residence,” she said.

The judgment directs British government to honour its original commitments made to participants of Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), which is no longer in operation.