Saturday, 18 April 2015

How Tough And Expensive It Is To Immigrate Here

I had a letter from a constituent explaining how tough things are for migrants. So much talk of open door immigration gives a false sense of how difficult and expensive it is to immigrate. 

I deleted some personal information from the email. 

Dear Adrian,
I'm on a Tier 2 three-year visa, with my wife and 15 month old daughter as dependants.

I'm emailing you today despite myself not being eligible to vote, because if I don't I fear that our rights will continuously be violated with no one to stand for us.

Specifically, I am concerned about the new NHS surcharge that came into effect on 6 April. I'm sure you are aware but this surcharge is of a value of £200 per person per year payable upon application of a visa or upon extension of an existing visa; so this surcharge also applies to people like us, who are already in the UK on valid visas. For me and my family, when our current visa expires and it's time to extend it for another three years, then we will have to pay £200 per person per year = £200 x 3 x 3 = £1800 plus visa application fees £651 per person = £1953 + £1161=£3753. That's a very large amount of money to cough up in a single instalment. A definite financial strain on our family.

As tax paying workers, we're already contributing to the NHS, "just as families in the UK do through their taxes" (Health Minister Lord Howe). Therefore, this surcharge is unfair.
If the argument is that, we or our families haven't paid long enough in backlogs of taxes as UK families have, then does this not extend to other public services funded through taxation, including police, fire brigades, roads, and even policy making?

I'm surprised that this clear unfairness have not been brought up widely yet, but I hope that you can. I sincerely hope that you can discuss this with your colleagues or even elevate it to a national discussion, where this unfair immigration policy can be subjected to further scrutiny and review. Ultimately, I want to see this surcharge abolished.

I really love the UK for it embraces ideals of human rights, fairness and democracy, while maintaining a healthy diverse society, and we wish to be a part of it. I hope that this country remains fair and open to all, not just migrants but other members of society who are in vulnerable positions such as those on benefits, pensioners, disabled or poor, and that everyone is fairly represented when discussing policies of great consequences to human lives and livelihood.

I look forward to hearing back from you, and good luck with the election (I can't vote but I do support the Greens).

yours sincerely,

At the request of the resident I made a  change, the date was 6 April not August. He got the date wrong. 

No comments: