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Ousted Indians to take on UK Govt

Thousands of workers who came to Britain under the HSMP scheme but had to leave when stay was not extended are planning to sue the government, reports Vijay Dutt.
Hindustan Times | By Vijay Dutt, London
UPDATED ON APR 19, 2008 11:31 AM IST

Thousands of workers – most of them of Indian origin – who came to Britain under the Highly Skilled Migrant Professionals (HSMP) scheme but had to leave when stay was not extended under new rules introduced by the Home Office are planning to sue the government.

They intend to cite the High Court's recent ruling that retrospective application of the new rules affecting those who entered the country before November 7, 2006 was not lawful.

The professionals plan to claim compensation for loss of earnings and the trauma suffered on being uprooted. The government said the number of such persons is not more than 1,300 but the HSMP Forum, which fought the case for the professionals, said the number of those affected could go up to 4,000, of whom 90 per cent are of Indian origin.

Almost 40,000 professionals, including nearly 30,000 of Indian origin have been affected but the court ruling saved all those who did not leave the country as their visas were still valid. Amit Kapadia, executive head of the HSMP Forum told HT that thousands did in fact leave the country before the High Court ordered a stay on a lower court's order allowing retrospective application of the new rules.

“Many had no time left to stay and went away after incurring heavy losses and loss of career prospects. Quite a few did not apply for extension, as the application cost £700 and there was no surety that a stay order would be ordered by courts.”

He added that the HSMP scheme was now trying urgently to get those who had to leave Britain re-enter under the old rules. “Many of them came here after giving up everything in the country of their origin. Many took loans to come here. They were, under the rules, to declare that they intended to make Britain their home.”

"Being kicked out of that home under changed rules mid-way entitles them to compensation," Kapadia told HT.

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