Skilled migrants to lose right to settle in UK

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More than 40,000 skilled migrants a year are to lose their right to work beyond five years in Britain, in a move towards creating a temporary “guestworker” migrant labour force in the UK.

The home secretary, Theresa May, will tell MPs on Wednesday that she is breaking the link between migration and settlement for the first time, by taking away the right to remain in Britain for more than five years from any migrant worker earning less than £35,000 a year.

The announcement comes as university vice-chancellors warned ministers that their policy of curbing the number of overseas students is at odds with attempts to boost economic growth. The action group Universities UK said it was wrong to classify students as migrants when 79% of them go home after five years and they should be removed from the politically sensitive net migration figures.

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