Monday June 17, 2024

Tough UK immigration laws ‘not Pakistan-specific’

By Asif Dar
March 05, 2016

LONDON: Renowned British-Pakistani immigration lawyer and PTI’s elected London president Waheedur Rehman Mian has said that the UK immigration system was hugely abused by money-minting people, which is why the government had to make very harsh immigration laws that are not just affecting Pakistanis but people from other countries of the world also.

The lawyer told The News in an interview that despite tough laws, Pakistani immigrants have been able to move to UK as they have strong family links in this country.

He said that British-Pakistani spouses can always apply for their Pakistani spouses through proper channel. But for this, he continued, they must earn £18,600 per annum. “Thousands of Pakistanis are in professional jobs here,” he said, adding that Pakistani youths are well-educated and hence well-placed to earn the mentioned salary.  Waheedur Rehman said that the UK has formulated very hard rules in all other immigration routes and it is almost impossible to get settlement visa in other categories but Pakistanis can get family or other visit visas by fulfilling requirements.

Genuine students are also welcomed by good colleges and universities, he said, blaming the tightening of immigration laws on bogus colleges that abuse the system for minting money. Due to this, he added, genuine students are suffering.

The immigration lawyer opined that in case of UK exit from European Union (EU), more skilled immigrants will be needed from countries like Pakistan to fill the gap of EU immigrants. And since most of the Britons have grown old and rely on pension, the country needs people who can pay taxes, he added.

He rejected the notion that immigration rules are toughened for the sake of preventing Pakistanis and people from other third world countries to enter the UK. “These laws are for everyone. Even the British community is affected by them, with many businessmen getting fines because their employees are not fulfilling immigration requirements,” he added.

“This country is the best in the world for living… it has given political, religious, cultural and other freedoms to everyone,” he said, adding that Muslims are free to make their mosques and people of other religions can also build their places of worship.

Answering a question, Mian said that Labour always used to be a friendly party for immigrants. “It has given amnesty to immigrants every two to three years, but the last Labour government started tightening immigration laws and now the Tory party is making it impossible for immigrants to come to the UK,” he added. He said that the Labour did it due to economic crisis, and expressed the hope that a next Labour government would relax immigration laws.