by Ahmed Abdulazeem

When China agreed to invest in the UK and considering the number of potential visitors it may have from China, the United Kingdom relaxed its immigration laws and also introduced few specific immigration categories to attract Chinese.

The United Kingdom has been attracting Entrepreneurs from outside the United Kingdom that is quite understandable given the potential to attract direct foreign investment into the country, creating job opportunities, skill transfer and skill training.

Australia, Canada and many countries in Europe have similar programmes. From Greece in the South East of Europe to Spain and Portugal in the middle and Ireland in the West, all countries have some form of their own Entrepreneurial immigration programmes up and running.

For some this policy conflicts with exercising heavy-hand on the Work related visa to fill any local vacancy by an immigrant. Over the years, citing the British experience, this approach has helped a little less in triggering skill revolution despite introducing initiatives such as Apprenticeship.

Skilled vacancies are still vacant waiting to be filled. A ‘short- lived’ EU experience seems to have failed where EU citizens were coming to the the UK to fill any vacancy. With Brexit that option is now controversially challenged.

Old Work Permit schemes were curtailed given the far cry of the people to stop migrants coming for the jobs in huge numbers. New Points based system was introduced to regulate the scheme more stringently. Consequently the number of permits granted drastically fell.

Persistent voices can still be heard craving for filling the skills gap. Seemingly no significant progress has been made to raise the stock level of skilled professionals. With no significant surge in stock of local, trained and skilled professionals to fill skilled jobs in the UK, chances of falling back to the Work Permit schemes for non-EU nationals will become a strong subject of argument in the days to come.

And the countries will continue to shape an equilibrium between the investment driven immigration vs work related permissions.