Today (Monday 28 June 2010) the British Home Secretary – Theresa May, announced officially that the government will introduce strict controls on the number of Non-EU immigrants coming to the UK.
Latest figures show that a total of 54,500 non-EU economic migrants came to the UK in 2009. A further 273,000 visas were issued to foreign students and another 38,000 people were allowed in to be reunited with their family, many coming from the Indian sub-continent.
So, we can only assume from this announcement that the visa procedures at UK Border Agency/UK Visa Offices will become more difficult for Ukrainian people intending to travel to the UK on business trips and on holidays. I’m sure the situation will also be made more difficult for students wanting to study in the UK.
But, let’s face reality. There are far too many people living in the UK and far too many people eager to settle there. The UK is still considered a ‘dream destination’ for many illegal immigrants as they know that UK laws will protect them. I cannot think of any other EU country that is so ‘soft’ on illegal immigrants. Moreover, the benefits system in the UK is more generous than say Italy, France, Spain who refuse to give out money so easily to immigrants.
Likewise the other reality is that many Ukrainian citizens will still continue to travel to the UK for business purposes and as tourists. The vast majority of these people have no intentions of ever wanting to stay in the UK. So let’s hope the UK Border Agency people are smart enough to deal with visa applications is a sensible manner.