The controversial “points based system” for awarding visas to foreign workers from outside the European Union came into effect in Britain on Friday. It will be fully operational by the end of the summer.
It is estimated around 18,000 migrants of Indian origin will be affected by the new system. “It is discriminatory. Worse, it has been introduced with retrospective effect,” said Amit Kapadia, convenor of Highly Skilled Migrant Professionals, the body fighting for the migrants’ cause.
The Commission for Racial Equality has already denounced the new system as discriminatory against minorities, who could now get lower wages than whites in some places. A petition for judicial review against the clause giving it retrospective effect will be heard on March 5.
Under the new system, migrant workers will be allowed to stay only if they can prove there is a shortage of their particular skills in the UK and the British economy really needs them.