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From: The Socialist issue 974, 6 December 2017: NHS campaigns stop closures!

Search site for keywords: Immigration - Refugee - Refugees - Racist - Jobs - Asylum - Homes

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

Anti-Monarchy Protesters against the Royal Wedding, photo Paul Mattsson

Anti-Monarchy Protesters against the Royal Wedding, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Isai Priya, Refugee Rights Campaign

The royal engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exposes once again that the immigration system has one rule for the establishment and another for us.

With a few signatures, Markle is to be fast-tracked to becoming a British citizen. It effect she will have to make one trip to the Home Office, and then walk out with a British passport.

This means skipping the long, painful process of first applying overseas for a fiancée entry clearance visa. Then proving that the sponsor has annual income exceeding £18,600. Or saving more than £62,500, which is held for six months.

Normal applicants then have to submit bundles of evidence proving they are a couple. The financial documentation must be in the specified format otherwise the visa application will be refused.

This process takes a minimum of three months for a decision. After which, if successful a six-month visa is issued. Then you have to make a further application after marriage to extend the visa, with all of the necessary specified supporting documents.

Upon approval, this spousal visa extension will only be valid for a time-limited 2.5-year period. Then you have to submit another extension application. And even that is not the end of the process.

Only after completing five years in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen are refugees and other applicants then eligible to apply to settle here permanently.

The Socialist Party fights for jobs, homes and services for all, for the right to asylum, and against racist and anti-working class immigration laws.

If you're very wealthy you can buy your way in. But for ordinary people the long, complex process, with all the cost and documentation, means visa applications don't have many fairy-tale endings.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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