MOSCOW, June 15 (Sputnik) – The UK government on Friday announced changes to the immigration rules which stipulate a new form of leave for children in need, address the issue of Afghan military interpreters wishing to settle in the country and tackle demands of the healthcare sector and creative industries for new professionals and talents, the government’s press service said in a press release.
“Today’s changes show that we are able to adapt to meet the demands of our frontline services and ensure we are able to attract people who can bring real benefits to our creative industries. At the same time we are confirming our commitment to those children in need with our ongoing support while demonstrating our recognition for people who have risked their lives by serving with our armed forces,” Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes said, as quoted in the press release.
A new form of leave for children, which will be outlined in the Immigration Act 2016, is expected to enable those minors “who do not qualify for refugee or humanitarian protection leave” to still be able to remain in the country in the long term. This category will be able to study, work, access public funds and healthcare and apply for settlement after five years, without paying a fee, according to the press release.
Under the changes, Afghan interpreters and their family members who have relocated to the country will also be eligible to apply for settlement after five-year residence. The government also intends to expand the list of Afghan interpreters eligible to relocate to the country.
The changes remove doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 visa cap, open up the exceptional talent visa for leading fashion designers and a wider pool of TV and film talents.
The new measures will also expand the list of countries, including China, whose students will be able to benefit from a streamlined application process.
The immigration issue has recently dominated the UK political debate amid the need to work out a new post-Brexit migration policy and a number of scandals related to the so-called hostile environment approach allegedly promoted by the UK government.