Gaffe #1 – Introduce an Australian-style points based system to manage the number and skills of people coming into the country.
Fact – A British-style points based system already exists within the Immigration Rules. It was introduced in 2008 and subsequently amended in 2012 to include stricter criteria where for example applicants are required to show that their intentions are genuine. The amendment had a significant effect in some of the migration routes into the UK and reduces the abuse of immigration control. The British-style point based system is notoriously tough. There is currently no right of appeal for those who have been refused a visa under the system save for those refused an extension and in very specific circumstances.
Gaffe #2 – Refuse entry to those with HIV and life-threatening diseases.
Fact – The Immigration Rules allow for situations where an applicant can or sometimes must be refused entry into the UK if one of the general grounds for refusal applies. Applicants with life-threatening diseases will be refused entry if there is confirmation from the Medical Inspector that, for medical reasons, it is desirable to refuse entry.
Gaffe #3 – Work visas should be issued to skilled and key workers under an Australian-style points based system.
Fact – Work visas are already issued to skilled and key workers under a British-style points based system. The system is designed to manage the number and skills of people coming into the UK for students and some workers.
Gaffe #4 – Those arriving on work visas will not be granted permanent leave to remain however they can apply for British citizenship.
Fact – Under the Immigration Rules, permanent leave to remain is a step to naturalising as a British citizen. Breaking this link would mean that extra requirements to ensure that an applicant meets the criteria are removed. Some have argued that this extra requirement is redundant while others have argued that removing this extra requirement makes the British Nationality law a soft touch.
Gaffe #5 – Students not attending courses in the UK will have their visas withdrawn and the colleges not reporting absenteeism will be barred from accepting international students.
Fact – Educational institutions recruiting students from outside the EEA need a Home Office sponsor licence and they must apply for Highly Trusted Sponsor status. There are existing obligations on all educational providers wishing to retain their sponsorship licence to comply with strict licence requirements. The Home Office can and will suspend or revoke an institution’s status or licence if, for example, it fails to report any unauthorised absence.
Gaffe #6 – It is important that British citizens and those with permanent leave to remain in the UK can form legal family relationships with non-British citizens. So we will abolish EEA family permit schemes.
Fact – The very purpose of the EEA family permit is to enable all EEA nationals and British citizens exercising treaty rights and their family members to form and maintain a legal family relationship in the UK. EEA nationals and their family members automatically acquire permanent rights of residence in the UK after 5 years and they may wish to apply for a document certifying this for the sake of convenience. The idea of abolishing the EEA family permit schemes and at the same time purporting to support family relationships seems incongruous.
Gaffe #7 – We will comply fully with the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
Fact – The UK already complies fully with the 1951 UN Convention and the 1967 protocol when dealing with all applications for Refugee Status under UK Asylum law.
Gaffe #8 – Apply a moratorium to unskilled and low-skilled labour over the course of the next parliament.
Fact – When the British-style points based system was introduced, a five-tier route was created within it. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 and Tier 5 represented highly valued migrants, skilled workers, unskilled workers, students and temporary workers, respectively. However, Tier 3 never came into operation because there was no need for unskilled workers into the UK. In 2013 the government shut it down completely. The unskilled and low-skilled workers tier does not exist!
Gaffe #9 – All non-UK undergraduate and postgraduate students will be required to maintain private health insurance for the period of their study.
Fact – All non-UK undergraduate and postgraduate students are required to pay for UK healthcare as part of their immigration application. EEA students are also required to have comprehensive sickness insurance cover for the duration of their studies.
Gaffe #10 – Foreign criminals will not be granted a visa to enter the UK. Residents who commit crimes resulting in a custodial sentence will have their visa revoked and be subject to a deportation order.
Fact – Under the general grounds for visa refusal, there is a mandatory ban for foreign criminals sentenced to a period of imprisonment. Criminality is a mandatory ground for refusing a visa.