MANILA, JULY 27, 2011 (DEFINITELY FILIPINO BLOG) IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE, POSTED ON 6th July 2011 By Michael Duque - The changes in the UK Immigration system will significantly affect a large number of overseas visitors in the United Kingdom.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May (photo) announced that the changes includes tougher entrance criteria, limits on work entitlements and the closure of the post-study work route in the student visa system.

The announcement follows a major public consultation on reforming Tier 4 of the points-based system, after a Home Office review revealed widespread abuse.

The main changes are as follows:

Students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an ‘upper intermediate’ (B2) level, rather than the current ‘lower intermediate’ (B1) requirement. All other students will have no right to work. We will place restrictions on work placements in courses outside universities. Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependants. We will limit the overall time that can be spent on a student visa to 3 years at lower levels (as it is now) and 5 years at higher levels. We will close the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, which allows students 2 years to seek employment after their course ends.

The Home Secretary said: ”International students not only make a vital contribution to the UK economy but they also help make our education system one of the best in the world. But it has become very apparent that the old student visa regime failed to control immigration and failed to protect legitimate students from poor-quality colleges. The changes I am announcing today re-focus the student route as a temporary one, available to only the brightest and best. The new system is designed to ensure students come for a limited period, to study, not work, and make a positive contribution while they are here.

Further changes in Immigration rules states that migrants coming to the UK to work on temporary visas will no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the government recently.

The government is implementing reforms to the immigration system which will reduce the level of immigration to sustainable levels.

Immigration Minister Damian Green set out plans to re-classify visas as either ‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’ and introduce stricter criteria for those who want to stay.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘The proposals are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration. Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The immigration system has got to be made to work properly. We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home.’

Key proposals are as follows:

Damian Green added: ‘A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK.’

The Government has committed to reforming all routes of entry to the UK in order to bring immigration levels under control.

In Summary:

• Most visa categories will be classified as either “Temporary” or Permanent”.
• Visas classified as “Temporary Visas” will not be able to settle permanently in the UK.
• Visas classified as “Temporary Visas” will be allowed to stay for a maximum of five (5) years after which holders are expected to leave
• Overseas Domestic Workers visa will stop and be closed
• A higher English language requirement will be implemented
• Students will be highly restricted in their right to work. Majority of students will not be allowed to work. Only students at higher education and in universities will be allowed to work but on a limited basis.
• Only Post-Graduate Students and Government sponsored students at Universities will be allowed to bring their dependants
• All student visas will be limited to 3-years (5-years for higher level of education) and students are expected to leave.

Current immigration rules also states that changing from one visa category to another is not allowed (i.e. student visa to work permit or residence permit). Application for visa changes are done in the country or port of origin and is often not allowed in-country in the UK.

Please disseminate to all concerned so that our kababayans will be informed and made aware. One of the ways we can help prevent illegal and misleading recruitment practices is to make the applicants aware of current rules and regulations.

BY Michael Duque President, PNA UK 06th July 2011

© 2011, Definitely Filipino. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, all articles in this website are opinions of their respective authors and not necessarily of Definitely Filipino, or its Administrators.


UK Offers visas to exceptionally talented Filipino 07/27/2011

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines—Paging “exceptionally talented” Filipinos in the fields of science, arts, engineering, the humanities and social sciences.

The United Kingdom has launched what it calls the “Exceptional Talent” special migration program, which encourages the “brightest and the best” in those branches of knowledge worldwide to live and work in the UK.

In a statement, the UK Embassy in the Philippines announced on Thursday that “this new (migration) route for up to 1,000 exceptionally talented migrants will facilitate not only those who have already been recognized, but also those with the potential to be recognized as leaders in their respective fields.”

The program “will be overseen by world-renowned competent bodies that will advise the UK Border Agency on these exceptionally talented migrants to ensure they are the brightest and the best in their field.” The embassy was referring to the following bodies:

• The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, which was tasked to nominate up to 300 migrant applicants;
• Arts Council England, the UK’s development agency for the arts, which will be able to nominate up to 300 applicants;
• Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, which has up to 200 slots to nominate; and
• The British Academy, the famed UK institution for the humanities and social sciences, which can nominate up to 200 applicants.

This year, at least 500 slots worldwide will be available from August 9 to November 30, while another 500 places will be opened from December 1 to March 31, 2011, Lyn Ayers-Plata, UK embassy press and events officer, told the Inquirer.

Ayers-Plata explained that “the number of places will be evaluated at the end of the first year to determine whether or not the number of places will be revised the following year.” According to Ayers-Plata, “there are no immigration quotas per country.”

“The decision for endorsement is up to the competent bodies who will vouch to the UK Border Agency that, in its opinion, the migrant is exceptionally talented,” she added.

Some 250,000 Filipinos are currently based in the UK, according to British embassy. The mission, however, did not say how many of them are holding immigrant and working visas. UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has noted “the UK is a global leader in science, humanities and engineering, and we are a cultural center for the arts.” But Green said the UK would “continue to welcome those who have the most to offer and contribute to our society and economy.” “Our new exceptional talent route—available for up to 1,000 applicants—will ensure that we continue to attract the brightest into the UK and keep the UK a global leader.

This comes at a time of major reform of the immigration system to bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands, tackle abuses and make sure that the immigration system meets the need of the country,” he added. Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, welcomed the launch of the special visa scheme “which will enable the very best artists of international standing to live and work in the UK.”

“The international exchange of artists enriches their art, and I’m sure audiences will welcome the opportunity to experience the finest artistic talents from across the world,” Davey said. For his part, Sir Adam Roberts, president of the British Academy, said “the humanities and social sciences are flourishing in the UK and attract many excellent scholars from overseas.”

“The British Academy is ready to play its part in identifying those outstanding scholars for whom (the exceptional talent route) is the appropriate visa category,” Roberts added.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said “the UK is a global leader in science because we can attract the best minds from around the world with our own homegrown talent.”

“The government has listened to the science community’s concerns about jeopardizing our international leadership by restricting the immigration of scientists …

The Royal Society will play its part in ensuring that the very best international talents can continue to come to the UK to work,” Nurse also said.

Sir John Parker Freng, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said “In order to safeguard the UK’s future competitiveness, we must ensure that it remains an attractive destination for world-class engineers.” Freng expressed confidence that “this new visa route will help encourage global excellence to come to the UK.”

Aside from the 1,000 visas for excellent talent migrants, the UK also issues visas to some 20,700 skilled professionals.



[PHOTO - The stage at Barrio Fiesta at London 2009]

The United Kingdom only had a small population of Filipinos until the late 20th century.

The number started to grow in the 1970s when immigration restrictions on Commonwealth citizens meant that employers had to find workers from other countries.

The National Health Service (NHS), hotel and catering industry and clothing manufacturers started to recruit Filipinos.

According to the UK Department of Employment, 20,226 work permits were issued to Filipinos between 1968 and 1980. Some 47% of the work permits were issued for those who came to work in hospitals and welfare homes as hospital auxiliaries, catering workers and to nurse-trainees. The second biggest category of work permits were for chambermaids, followed by catering and waitering staff.

The NHS started to recruit more Filipino nurses in the 1990s to make up a shortfall in local recruitment. A large number of Filipinos have also arrived as caregivers and work in public and private nursing homes.


Population: The 2001 UK Census recorded 40,118 people born in the Philippines. The Office for National Statistics estimates that, in 2009, the equivalent figure was 112,000.

According to the Manila Times, there were approximately 200,000 Filipinos living in the United Kingdom as of 2007.

In 2007, 10,840 Filipinos gained British citizenship, the second largest number of any nation after India, compared to only 1,385 in 2001.

Distribution: The largest Filipino community in the United Kingdom is in and around London, based around Earl's Court. Other towns and cities with significant Filipino communities include Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Barrow-in-Furness, which is home to an extremely successful Filipino community, as well as being the country's largest for a town of its size.

Fiestas are held during July and August in various cities throughout the UK.

Economics: According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, 85.4 per cent of new immigrant Filipinos to the UK of working age are employed (as opposed to inactive - a category which includes students - or unemployed), with 12.8% being low earners (people making less than £149.20 a week – half the UK median wage) and 0.61 per cent are high earners (people earning more than £750 a week). 77.91 per cent of settled Filipino immigrants to the UK are employed, with 15.38 per cent being low earners and 1.28 per cent being high earners.[8]

Culture and community: Filipino community groups in the UK include: The Centre for Filipinos, a Filipino advocacy and outreach charity; Lahing Kayumanggi dance company focusing on traditional Filipino dance; EA Doce Pares, an Eskrima/Arnis school promoting and educating the community on the Philippine warrior arts and culture; Phil-UK, a group for young and second-generation Filipinos in the UK; Philippine Generations, a Second Generation led not for profit Organisation promoting the Philippines, its people and culture in the UK; The Philippine Centre, a charity promoting culture and community spirit. One Filipino is a group supporting local Filipino organisations in the United Kingdom and also to promote the campaign towards good governance and Filipino empowerment.

The 'Barrio Fiesta sa London', a two-day festival held in Lampton Park, West London, is perhaps the best known and largest gathering for the community in the UK. It is organised and run by The Philippine Centre but draws Filipino community groups and businesses from all over the UK. After the 2009 Barrio Fiesta in July, it had been running for 25 years.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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