Delayed Judicial Review into Highly Skilled Migrant Programme changes frustrates campaigners

Campaigners have expressed their frustrations at delays to the Judicial Review into controversial changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

The HSMP Forum applied to the High Court in February this year for a review into the retrospective nature of changes to the visa application process. Five months later, with many migrants having had their right to work in the UK withdrawn, the group has yet to receive a date for a hearing.

Amit Kapadia, director of the HSMP Forum, said: “Many HSMP holders are concerned about the delays to the Judicial Review as their visas are soon expiring. Our lawyers are doing their best to pursue further progress, but it seems the Administrative Courts are busy. We are confident that it will come up soon.”

The Judicial Review application asks the court to overturn the Home Office’s decision to effectively make migrants reapply under the new rules despite having being granted HSMP visas under the old system.

The stricter regime, introduced in November 2006, could force up to 40,000 migrants from the UK, according to the forum.

The Conservative party and London mayor Ken Livingstone have spoken out against the changes.

The Commission for Racial Equality has also written to the Home Office expressing its concern that the changes breach race laws.

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