Many migrants brought their families to the UK after
being granted the Highly Skilled Migrant Worker visa

In 2002, the UK government introduced a new scheme to attract talented migrants to Britain. By all accounts, the Highly Skilled Migrant Worker scheme was a huge success.

Over 50,000 people, mostly from Asia and Africa, were allowed to live and work in the UK for up to five years, after which they would be eligible to apply for permanent citizenship.

But in late 2006, the government issued new guidelines stating that every HSMP-holder must now renew their visa each year. The number of points an applicant needs to remain within the UK has also risen dramatically.

As a result, thousands of migrants who had settled themselves and their families in the UK under the old rules, now find themselves unable to renew their visas - and face deportation.

Anwar Farrukh used to be a university lecturer
in Mumbai, India

Anwar Farrukh was a university lecturer in India before settling in the UK three years ago under an HSMP visa.

Unable to find work in his field, he settled for a job as a maintenance engineer in a central London hotel. Under the new 2006 rules, Anwar does not qualify under the earnings power category of the HSMP extension.

"We feel cheated," says Anwar. "The government of UK, they are not caring - this is a tragedy. We came with some hope and they have trashed our hopes and we have to go back."

A compelling film that explores the issues around globalisation and attracting skilled workers to developed economies.

Watch part one of this episode of People & Power on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of People & Power on YouTube

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday, February 6, 2008 


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