Image: Wikimedia Commons

Manifesto Roundup: Migration and International Students

In the final buildup to the General Election, the Boar has looked at what the major party manifestos have to say on a number of issues. Here is a summary for issues regarding migration and international students.

The Conservative Party
• Reduce net migration to below 100,000.
• Continue to include international students in net immigration numbers.
• Toughen visa requirements for international students to maintain “high standards”.
• International students expected to leave the country on completion of their studies unless they meet “higher” requirements to stay.
• Increase Immigration Health Surcharge from £450 to £600, meaning a higher contribution to NHS funding in return for its use.
• Increase earnings threshold for sponsoring migrants with family visas.
• Double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on businesses to £2000 to fund training for British workers.
• Secure the entitlements of EU nationals in the UK.
• Reduce asylum claims made in Britain, focusing on those still in “parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression” that are “most in need of help”.

The Labour Party
• Develop “fair” immigration rules.
• Base migration system on a balance of “economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements.”
• Avoid “bogus” immigration targets.
• Not include international students in immigration figures.
• End freedom of movement when the UK leaves the EU.
• Distinguish between migrant labour and family attachment.
• Stop overseas-only recruitment practices.
• Reinstate Migrant Impact Fund in areas where immigration has caused a strain on public services, funded by High Net Worth Individual Visas.
• Recruit 500 more border guards.
• Review current arrangements for housing and dispersing refugees which are not “fit for purpose”.
• End indefinite migrant detention.

The Liberal Democrats
• Support the principle of freedom of movement.
• Remove international students from net migration figures.
• Reinstate post-study work visas for STEM graduates who find “suitable employment” within six months of graduating.
• Ensure fair and transparent student visa system by working with universities.
• Make positive case for immigration during next parliament and reduce hate crimes against migrants by targeting those who commit them and making all hate crimes aggravated offences.
• Hold annual debates in parliament to identify skills and labour market shortfalls and the UK’s migration needs.
• Offer safe and legal routes to the UK for refugees.
• Offer refuge to 50,000 people by expanding the Syrian Vulnerable Persons resettlement scheme.
• Take in and offer indefinite leave to 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees by re-opening the Dubs scheme.
• Introduce 28-day limit for migration detention.

The Green Party
• Protect freedom of movement.
• Guarantee the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK.
• Introduce a “humane” immigration and refugee system that “recognises and takes responsibility for Britain’s role in causing the flow of migrants worldwide.”

The UK Independence Party
• Reduce net migration to zero over a five-year period, halving gross immigration.
• Establish a Migration Control Commission.
• Introduce an Australian points-style immigration system and a work permit system.
• Temporarily halt all low-skilled migration for five years after leaving the EU.
• Continue visas for international students, but prevent abuses of the system.
• Stop offering student loans to EU nationals once the UK has left the EU.
• New work visas with high earners on salaries of over £30,000 being given priority.
• Reintroduce Primary Purpose Scheme, where migrants will have to prove that the primary purpose of their marriage was not to obtain British residency.
• Fully comply and honour obligation to “bona fide” asylum seekers.
• Migrants must make tax and national insurance contributions for five years before accessing benefits or non-urgent NHS services.
• No amnesty for illegal immigrants.
• Foreign criminals will not be allowed visas to enter the UK.
• Allow EU citizens living in the UK before the triggering of Article 50 the right to stay here indefinitely.
• Test the social attitudes of migration candidates to “foster community cohesion and protect core British values”.

For a round-up of manifesto policies on education, click here.

For the results of our survey on how Warwick students intend to vote, click here.

Interviews with local candidates are available below:

Warwick and Leamington

Coventry South


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.