Tag Archives: European Economic Area

UK Net Immigration Rises 21%

Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) to/from the UK 1991-2009

統計続きになるけれど、今日の国家統計局(Office for National Statistics)の発表によると、昨年のNet Immigration(入移民超過:イギリスに来た移民数から海外へ移民した人の数を差し引いたもの)の数が23万9千人と、19万8千人だった2009年に比べ、21%増加した。イギリスへの移民数は過去5年間、50万人強と安定しているのだが、世界的経済不況で国外の雇用状況が悪化しているなか、海外に仕事を求めて出て行く人の数が減ったことが原因だそうだ。

イギリス人の海外移住が減る中、EU各国、特に「A8」と呼ばれる、2004年に新規加入した中東欧諸国8カ国(チェコ共和国、ポーランド、ハンガリー、スロバキア、スロベニア、エストニア、ラトビア、リトアニア)からの労働者が増加。その数は2009年の5千人から3万9千人に急増、その3人に2人はポーランド人だという。また、移民の3分の2はEU圏外からで、そのうち15万1千人は「new Commonwealth(新イギリス連邦)」と呼ばれる国々、特にインド、パキスタン、バングラデシュの出身。留学はイギリスに来る目的の最多を占め、昨年の外国人留学生数22万8千人のうち4分の3がEU圏外からだそう。

政府はこの入移民超過数を減らすため、Work Permit(労働ビザ)発行数の上限を設定したり、学生ビザを隠れ蓑にイギリスに働きに来る自称「学生」を根絶し留学生数を減らすために怪しげな学校への規制を強化したりと、策を講じてはいるが、海外への移民数とEUからの移民数はコントロールできないため、あまり効果はなさそうだ。

近年、EU圏外からの外国人はイギリスビザが取りにくくなり、ビザが取れても色々規制が多いとよく聞く。労働ビザ申請が上限に達したためビザが取れないこともあるし、以前学生ビザで週20時間働けたところ、新しいシステムでは10時間が限度だ。

イギリス人はよく移民増加をポーランド人や東欧人のせいにするけれど、そもそも前政権が好況時に安価な労働力を期待して、A8諸国からの移民数に制限を設けなかったことが原因(他の西欧諸国は上限あり)。自分たちの選んだ政治家のしたことを棚に上げ、違法行為など何もしていない東欧人のせいにするなんてフェアじゃない。可哀想なのは折に触れてバッシングされる東欧人と、移民増加のツケを払わされるEU以外の人々なのだ。

The Office for National Statistics has revealed today that net migration in the UK rose by 21% last year with 239,000 more people arriving than those leaving, from the total at 198,000 in 2009. Immigration has been stable in past five years at a little more than half a million a year, but the reason of increase in net immigration is fewer number of people are emigrating due to worldwide recession resulting in less job opportunities abroad.

While fewer British are going abroad, more EU workers have been arriving, particularly from the Eastern and Central European “A8” countries, which are 8 of 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Its number jumped to 39,000 from 5,000 in 2009, and around 2 out of 3 of them are Polish. But Eastern Europeans are not the only ones to be blamed. Two third of the foreign migrants were from outside Europe, and 151,000 were from “new Commonwealth” countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Study was the most common reason for coming to the UK, and three-quarters came from outside the EU of 228,000 immigrant students last year.

The government has promised to reduce net migration, and the number of workers from outside the European Economic Area has been capped and bogus educational institutions have been regulated in order to crack down widespread abuse of the system to reduce foreign students. But there seems to be a little effect, as the government cannot control emigration and European workers.

In these years, I have heard many times that it is getting harder and harder for non Europeans to obtain UK visas and even you get it you will be regulated tighter than before. Some foreign workers are denied to get a work permit because total application has reached to the cap, and new visa scheme allows students to work only 10 hours a week, instead of 20 hours previously.

Often British blame on Polish and other Eastern Europeans for mass immigration, but they seem to forget the fact that their government was the one who decided not to put the cap on immigrants from A8 nations, in order to obtain cheaper labours and fullfil the request from the industries which desperately needed workforce during economic boom, whereas most of the western European countries set the limit. It’s not fair to blame the East Europeans who do nothing illegal, but they should criticise your own government! Poor Polish, and non-Europeans who have to pay the price.

European Health Insurance Card / EHIC

すぐに旅行に行く予定があるわけじゃないけれど、先日、European Health Insurance Card(EHIC:ヨーロッパ健康保険カード)の有効期限が切れていたのに気づいたので、インターネットで更新を申し込み、昨日新しいカードを受け取った(写真上。個人情報は消去してあります)。EHICは、イギリスに合法的に住み、国営医療サービスのNHSに登録している人なら誰でも無料で取得できる。インターネット、電話、郵送で申請可能で、最長5年間有効。このカードを所持していれば、欧州経済領域各国とスイスで、一時的に滞在中に、怪我や病気などで治療が必要になった場合、滞在国の政府管轄の医療機関で必要な医療サービスを無料または一部有料で受けられる。国によっては、現地で支払いをし、帰国後に還付される場合もある。ただし、欧州経済地域(EEA)以外の出身者は、キプロス、デンマーク、アイスランド、リヒテンシュタイン、ノルウェー、スイスではこの恩恵を受けることは出来ないのでご注意を(キプロス、デンマーク、アイスランドは救急医療のみ受けることが出来る)。→詳しくは国別の規則を参照。

EHICは、イギリスへの帰国費用やプライベート医療、スキーリゾートでの救助などの諸々の費用はカバーされないので、NHSは旅行保険との併用を奨励している。EHICの保持を義務づけている保険会社もあり、その多くはEHIC使用後の超過料金を払い戻してくれるそう。

Though we don’t have any travel plan to Europe at this moment, M noticed that our European Health Insurance Cards were expired, so we renewed and received the new cards yesterday (the photo above, with personal information removed). The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge. If you are a UK resident and registered with National Health Services (NHS), you can apply EHIC for free, online, over the phone, or by post, and it’s valid for up to five years. With the EHIC card, you are entitled to medical treatment that becomes necessary, under the state scheme, during your temporary visiting to one of the member countries. You may be able to seek reimbursement for the cost when you are back in the UK, if you are not able to do so in the country. But if you are a non-EEA citizen, be careful – you can’t receive the same benefit in Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, though Cyprus, Denmark and Iceland cover emergency treatment. → check Country-by-country guide for more details.

The EHIC does not cover some costs such as repatriation to the UK, private medical healthcare, or the cost of things such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, so NHS strongly recommends for all to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurance companies now require you to have an EHIC and many will waive the excess charge if an EHIC has been used.

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I got my Permanent Residence Card!

Permanent Residence Card

11ヶ月もの苦しく長い待ち時間の後、ようやくイギリスのPermanent Residence Card(永住者カード)を受け取った。EEA (欧州経済領域/European Economic Area)出身者の家族として、イギリスに5年間連続で住むと、permanent residence (PR/永住権)を申請できる。永住者カードはパスポートに貼られ(個人情報保護のため、黒塗りで見苦しくなってすみません)、10年間有効(なぜ「永住」カードと呼ぶのか不明)。イギリスでは、Home Office(内務省)の管轄のUK Border Agencyは、EEA出身者の家族として、イギリスに永住する権利を持つ非EEA出身者に、申請から6ヶ月以内に永住者カードを発行しなければいけないと、Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006により定められている。でも、現実は義務にはほど遠い。イギリスのイミグレーションに関する掲示板には、長期間待たされている申請者の不満と怒りが溢れている。パスポートを提出しないといけないので、待っている間は、お互いの家族のところへも行けず、海外へのバケーションもお預け。あんまり悪口を言い過ぎてPRを取り返されたら怖いので、文句はこの辺にしておこう。

After waiting for almost 11 months, finally I received my UK Permanent Residence Card!!! As a family member of an EEA (European Economic Area) national and have lived in UK for a continuous period of five years, I could apply for permanent residence (PR). The permanent residence card is issued on my passport (sorry for the black masks on some personal information), and is valid for 10 years (why it is called ‘permanent’??). In the UK, the Secretary of State (Home Office/UK Border Agency) “must issue a person who is not an EEA national who has a permanent right of residence under regulation 15 with a permanent residence card no later than six months after the date on which an application for a permanent residence card and proof that the person has such a right is submitted to the Secretary of State”, under Regulation 18 (2) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. Well, the reality is far from that. The UK immigration information boards are full of anger applicants waiting far more than 6 months. During the waiting, we couldn’t visit our families nor go to vacation in the sun, no city breaks abroad, as I had to submit my passport!!! Maybe I shouldn’t talk bad too much, because I don’t want my brand-new PR to be confiscated.

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