Hope for highly skilled migrants as court backs case to stay in the UK

A landmark tribunal judgment has poured fresh doubt over the controversial changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

Migrant workers celebrated the Hatton Cross Asylum and Immigration tribunal decision as an indication that they will not be forced out of the UK by the changes. Judge Digney ruled that the appellant had a “strong case of legitimate expectation” that he would remain in the UK, as the changes were retrospective and made after he arrived.

Under the new points-based system, migrant workers have to reapply for their visas and reach more stringent qualification criteria. There were fears that up to 40,000 people would be forced out of the country after visa holders started receiving letters earlier this year asking them to leave.

But Amit Kapadia, director of the HSMP Forum campaign body, told Personnel Today: “This is a good day – it has given real hope to every­one. The judge has clearly signified that what the Home Office is doing is unfair.”

One member of the HSMP Forum wrote on the website: “This is the beginning of our celebration and we shall clink glasses at the end of it all.

The result of a judicial review into the changes is still awaited and crucial to the migrants’ hopes of gaining visa renewals.

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