Jamaican High Commission highlights concerns about UK immigration policy

12 Jan 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to London has been meeting with the UK authorities over concerns that Jamaicans seeking a UK visa are likely to be turned down.

Aloun Assamba said the meetings were sparked by the current crackdown on immigration by the Home Office and she had attended a number of discussions with UK Border Control to highlight concerns. Her office is also working with the British High Commission in Jamaica to ensure Jamaicans seeking UK visas meet the criteria demanded by the UK Government.

Jamaica is the latest country to raise concerns about the ongoing tightening of immigration rules for people from outside the European Union seeking a UK visa.

Ms Assamba said the current situation was due to political concerns about immigration ahead of the forthcoming UK General Election.

She told the Jamaica Gleaner: “It has become an election issue. We have been monitoring it and sharing the information as we obtain it.”

The High Commissioner warned Jamaicans seeking to study in the UK that the number of colleges offering student visas has been reduced following concerns that some educational establishments were flouting the law. This has resulted in further restrictions to the entrepreneur visa route to living in the UK, which allowed overseas students to remain in Britain if they were setting up new businesses.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire claimed the system had been undermined by criminal groups and individuals who had taken low skilled jobs rather than starting businesses. The Government believes that organised gangs are using the entrepreneur system after the post-study work visa for international students was abolished.

Mr Brokenshire said: “We will take firm action to protect our immigration system. And we will not hesitate to take firm action to protect our immigration system further, particularly when there is evidence of criminals targeting what they think are weaknesses in the rules.”