Doubts cast on Highly Skilled Migrant Programme as Abbey bank rejects worker for being on the scheme

Fresh concerns have been voiced over the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP) after a worker was turned down for a junior position because he was on the scheme.

Professional banker Jonathon Adeyemi was told by the Abbey bank that he would not be considered for a trainee mortgage adviser role because the visa did not give him indefinite right to remain.

Campaigners said the job refusal made a mockery of retrospective changes to the programme, which award greater points for higher salaried UK jobs.

Amit Kapadia, director of the HSMP forum, told Personnel Today: “It is so much harder for people to qualify under the new system when employers are not accepting them for even low-paid positions.

The Abbey wrote to Adeyemi saying that its policy was only to employ people with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The HSMP visa is initially for one year and relies on employment success to be extended to indefinite leave.

Kapadia said: “We hear of many people losing out on jobs in this way – the difference is that this time the real reason has been disclosed.”

Changes to the way HSMP visas are handed out could force up to 40,000 people to leave the country, according to critics.

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