New British immigration rules go into effect today which could force the deportation of thousands of skilled workers over the next few years.
Non-EU workers who have been living in the United Kingdom for less than 10 years will now need to earn at least £35,000 a year to stay in the country – a significant increase from the previous £20,800 threshold.
Home secretary Theresa May says that these new Tier 2 visa regulations would reduce the number of non-EU migrants from 60,000 to 20,000 per year.
But many of the people who work in the UK on this visa claim that the regulations discriminate against certain sectors, such as charity workers, teachers and health professionals.
Shannon Harmon, a digital producer at a non-profit media organisation, is one of them. Although the American has been living in London for over seven years, she will be forced to leave or find new work that pays more.
“I don’t want to find a new job. I really like working in the charity sector,” she said in her office on Monday.
Ms Harmon has been a driving force behind Stop35k, a campaign aimed at changing the legislation.
Last month, MPs debated the regulations after Stop35k’s petition gathered over 100,000.
Today, the organisation will be holding a demonstration outside the Home Office in protest of the bill.
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