More visa-free access for British Nationals (Overseas)

As a Hong Kong resident, I welcome the arrangement that Hong Kong SAR passport holders are eligible for visa-free access to Ukraine, UAE, Qatar etc. These countries offer visa-free access for full British citizens and HKSAR passport holders, but not British Nationals (Overseas). However, I would like to suggest that that same arrangement should be extended to British National (Overseas) passport holders.

Why is this idea important?

As a Hong Kong resident, I welcome the arrangement that Hong Kong SAR passport holders are eligible for visa-free access to Ukraine, UAE, Qatar etc. These countries offer visa-free access for full British citizens and HKSAR passport holders, but not British Nationals (Overseas). However, I would like to suggest that that same arrangement should be extended to British National (Overseas) passport holders.

Scrap Boimetric Residence Visas

If yiou think the ID card is dead, think again. A form of the National Identity Register and the ID card will remain, to be enforced on foreign nationals living in the UK and known as the Biometric Residency Visa.

Why is this idea important?

If yiou think the ID card is dead, think again. A form of the National Identity Register and the ID card will remain, to be enforced on foreign nationals living in the UK and known as the Biometric Residency Visa.

Lift off the ‘restriction to work as a doctor in training’ from Tier 1 general visa

I suggest lifting off the 'restriction to work as a doctor in training' from Tier 1 general visa.

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly.

High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

Why is this idea important?

I suggest lifting off the 'restriction to work as a doctor in training' from Tier 1 general visa.

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly.

High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

Stop abuse of student visa

A large number of international students come to UK each year. However, many of them never show up for classes. They do petty jobs and often never complete their studies. As a result UK looses in 2 ways:

1. The Universities do not get full fees they are expecting.

2. The unemployment problem is deterioating.

A possible solution is to keep close watch on incoming students. UK needs a system similar to SEVIS in the US.  To discourage students from dropping out, there should be a minimum attendance and grade requirements. Any students falling short on these requirements should be deported.

Why is this idea important?

A large number of international students come to UK each year. However, many of them never show up for classes. They do petty jobs and often never complete their studies. As a result UK looses in 2 ways:

1. The Universities do not get full fees they are expecting.

2. The unemployment problem is deterioating.

A possible solution is to keep close watch on incoming students. UK needs a system similar to SEVIS in the US.  To discourage students from dropping out, there should be a minimum attendance and grade requirements. Any students falling short on these requirements should be deported.

Make the path to citizenship fair, clear and transparent

The government should re-examine the previous government's proposals regarding the path to gaining UK citizenship. These introduced the idea of "probationary" citizenship and the fast-tracking of applications by those who had been deemed to perform community service. However no definition of what will be regarded as appropriate community service has been forthcoming from either the current or previous government leaving those currently on the path to citizenship confused and embittered. The path to gaining UK citizenship should be aspirational and positive yet it has turned into a legalistic, expensive, bureaucratically opaque and negative journey for those currently contributing to this society and seeking to become permanent members of the British family.

The government should scrap the requirement for community service as no such requirement exists for existing UK citizens, thereby creating a two-tiered notion of citizenship. It should also bear in mind that existing community based organisations are in no place to deal with the (likely cyclical and short term) volunteering that would result under such a scheme and nor are they experts in providing community or civics education. The requirement for community service will also act as a severe disincentive for highly skilled professionals to make the commitment of becoming UK nationals (and potentially long-term UK taxpayers).

Why is this idea important?

The government should re-examine the previous government's proposals regarding the path to gaining UK citizenship. These introduced the idea of "probationary" citizenship and the fast-tracking of applications by those who had been deemed to perform community service. However no definition of what will be regarded as appropriate community service has been forthcoming from either the current or previous government leaving those currently on the path to citizenship confused and embittered. The path to gaining UK citizenship should be aspirational and positive yet it has turned into a legalistic, expensive, bureaucratically opaque and negative journey for those currently contributing to this society and seeking to become permanent members of the British family.

The government should scrap the requirement for community service as no such requirement exists for existing UK citizens, thereby creating a two-tiered notion of citizenship. It should also bear in mind that existing community based organisations are in no place to deal with the (likely cyclical and short term) volunteering that would result under such a scheme and nor are they experts in providing community or civics education. The requirement for community service will also act as a severe disincentive for highly skilled professionals to make the commitment of becoming UK nationals (and potentially long-term UK taxpayers).

Return foreign spouse visa age from 21 to 18

The return to the old requirement of a foreign spouse being 18 before application of a visa. This was changed to 21 in 2008. This was done due to the problem of forced marriges and a blanket ban was put into force on all british nationals. 

  • This was removed for armed service personel only in april 2010

 

The current age in many parts of the uk for marrige is 16 (with parental permission) yet the age for for foreign spouses was increased from 18 to 21 due to forced marriges. The arguments for increasing the age show flaws and do not deal with the actual problem of forced marriges yet discriminates people of a younger age getting married.

Why is this idea important?

The return to the old requirement of a foreign spouse being 18 before application of a visa. This was changed to 21 in 2008. This was done due to the problem of forced marriges and a blanket ban was put into force on all british nationals. 

  • This was removed for armed service personel only in april 2010

 

The current age in many parts of the uk for marrige is 16 (with parental permission) yet the age for for foreign spouses was increased from 18 to 21 due to forced marriges. The arguments for increasing the age show flaws and do not deal with the actual problem of forced marriges yet discriminates people of a younger age getting married.

visitor visa to a spouse.

let it be possible with family with a visitor visa wife or husband  who are honest with their process be able to exchange it to a spouse visa in the uk.

this is the only situation i have at the moment.

thank  you.

Why is this idea important?

let it be possible with family with a visitor visa wife or husband  who are honest with their process be able to exchange it to a spouse visa in the uk.

this is the only situation i have at the moment.

thank  you.