New point-based system for migration to UK
Officials of the British High Commission at a seminar in Sylhet yesterday said that there had been major changes in the immigration laws worldwide and the British government has also pressed a new point-based system for migrating to the UK for work, study and training.
It is consolidating and simplifying more than 80 routes to the UK into just 5 tiers, which are being implemented gradually, they added.
The British High Commission organised the seminar on 'UK visas' at the M Saifur Rahman auditorium in the city's Rikabibazar area.
Stuart Percival, head of immigration services of the British High Commission in Dhaka, presented the keynote paper at the seminar and replied to the queries.
A number of educationists from the British-Bangladeshi diaspora, head of the educational and professional training institutes, in addition to a number of students from different local universities attended the seminar.
Stuart said, “The UK is a great place to study and we warmly encourage more genuine applications from Sylhet and around Bangladesh since foreign students bring huge economic and cultural benefit to the UK. The new system is easy, simpler and transparent. It has been designed to facilitate entry to the UK of all those who want to go there for work, train and study.”
The officials said the newly introduced point-based system would greatly benefit the genuine people interested to go to the UK in a proper way.
There are huge scopes for the young and qualified people to migrate to the UK, he added.
However, it will take time to reach the benefits to the target people, as it is being implemented phase by phase, the officials added.
The speakers said that the immigration law is diverse and confusing at times while vulnerable people need help of the experienced people in facing the different odds related to those.
However, often people get misguided at the hands of so-called 'immigration experts or advisers', the speakers said, adding that genuine foreign goers should remain alert before consulting those unscrupulous elements, who often do business in a wrong way only.
The officials further noted that there had been big changes in the British immigration laws in the recent years. Alongside the existing process online system of visa application for the UK had been introduced. No doubt, it has fastened the total process, they added.
Referring to some incidents, they said submission of false and forged documents do just cause refusal of any visa application. These all are harmful practice and filing such papers just damage the prospect of getting visas, they added.
Replying to the queries, Stuart Percival said there would be no provision for appeal against the refused cases under the point-based system.
But, scope for administrative appeal will remain. In Bangladesh more than 50 percent of the visa applications for UK are made from Sylhet division only, he said.
Settlement cases are also too high from this region. Considering all these points and reality, Sylhet has a different attachment with the UK for long, he added.
Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran and Divisional Commissioner Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan also spoke.