Indian professionals have joined forces with their counterparts from non-EU (European Union) countries to escalate their fight against what they view as aggressive immigration regime of the UK government. They will participate together in a major protest on 21 February.
The Highly Skilled Migrants group, comprising close to 1,000 engineers, doctors, teachers and IT professionals, from countries outside the EU, will stage one of their biggest protests on Wednesday.
The professionals and their families, mainly Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Nigerians, will protest against the delays and baseless refusals of the UK Home Office with regard to their applications for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.
Aditi Bhardwaj, one of the organizers of the group, was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that India together with Pakistan and Bangladesh has buried its divisions to fight together. Meanwhile, many more people are joining the protest as they are not being allowed the right to live and work in Britain without any valid reasons, she added.
These professionals, who came with Tier 1 (General) visa in the UK many years ago, are eligible to apply for permanent residency status or ILR after they complete five years of legal residency in the UK.
Though the visa category used by hundreds of Indian software professionals was discontinued in 2010, eligible to apply for UK residency until April 2018 are former applicants if the necessary criteria are met.
But the Highly Skilled Migrants group claims that they are hundreds of instances where either the applications have been caught in red tape or refused permission to stay on invalid grounds
The group, which Bhardwaj is part of, is said to have got close to 22,500 signatures on change.org’s online petition, entitled ‘Stop creating hostile environment for immigrants’, which is addressed to Theresa May, British PM, Amber Rudd, UK home secretary, and Jeremy Corbyn, Opposition Labour party leader, among others.
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