USA so-called merit-based immigration not good for the UK

Published:  25 Sep at 6 PM
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As the USA moves to a so-called merit-based immigration system, will the post-Brexit UK decide to follow?

At the present moment, highly-skilled expatriates living and working in the USA are accusing the Trump administration of hypocrisy for its attempted move towards a flawed ‘merit based’ immigration system which supposedly prioritises highly-educated, English-speaking immigrants over those from many other countries. The move’s many critics say it’s never been easy for the best of the rest to get a green card and residency, no matter what the prevalent policy has been.

High-skilled critics of the present system are reporting the administration is deliberately making it almost impossible for talented migrants to get or renew the correct H-1B visa necessary for medical professionals, tech workers and other top-tier expat professionals. In addition, visas for the spouses of high-end professionals are being made almost impossible to obtain and arrivals from Asian countries are seemingly targeted.

One Indian tech expert told the media he’d received an H-1B visa to work as a software developer, bringing with him his qualified, professional journalist wife and daughter. His wife couldn’t work legally until the Obama administration brought in the H-4 EAD visa programme, enabling her to produce and host a talk show aimed at Indian immigrants. The Trump administration is about to cancel that visa programme.

Another important Obama programme, the International Entrepreneur Rule, was aimed at making it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to enter and work in the USA, thus building companies and creating jobs for US workers. Nowadays, the Trump administration is scaring away talented expatriates in a bid to ensure only US citizens can get jobs in US companies. To British expats, this all sounds crazy, but – and it’s a big but – there’s an odious comparison with reports coming out from pro-Brexit lawmakers, leading to suspicions that similar moves may be introduced post-Brexit for equally ridiculous reasons, thus harming the already stuttering UK economy.
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