|It’s too early in the morning for casual xenophobia. FOREVER
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
The conversation with the taxi driver began innocuously enough. We chatted about the nice weather. He said he hoped it would continue as he was going on holiday in a couple of weeks. I replied that we were as well, to Turkey, for the first time. He said he loved Turkey because of the food and the hot weather and the people and how he’d thought about moving there but --
“They’re really strict on immigration laws.”
“Oh? How so?”
“Well, you can’t just move there and get a job. You have to prove that you’re not taking a job from a Turkish person. So if you want to open a restaurant, you can be the owner, but you have to train and employ all Turkish people. You can go around and greet customers, shake hands, be seen, but you can’t cook or wait tables or even be seen sweeping up after it shuts or they’ll close you down. I completely agree with that idea because it means the jobs created all go to the Turkish locals.”
I considered my reply carefully. “That’s how the visa system works here, too, for non-EEA* migrants.”
“Yes. When I got my first job here, my employers had to prove that they couldn’t find a British candidate with my skills in order to obtain a visa**.”
“I didn’t know they bothered with that.”
“Yes, they do. It’s not easy to get a visa even if you have highly specialised skills like mine.”
“Well, I think Turkey have got it right. Everyone should have to do that no matter where they’re from. We don’t need more people doing stuff like going over to Spain to work part-time in a bar. We have enough people to do all the unskilled jobs here.”
Thankfully we arrived at my destination before the seemingly inevitable “and that’s why I’m voting UKIP”. /o\
* European Economic Area. Americans are non-EEA migrants, although most British people seem to think that "non-EEA migrant" == "asylum seeker". Oh and by the way the immigration system is just as draconian for asylum seekers as it is for other non-EEA migrants.
** Tier 2. It is now even more difficult to obtain a Tier 2 visa even through an employer like mine, a top-ranked academic research institution. More and more positions, even post-doctoral ones, are advertised with the proviso that applicants must already have the right to work in the UK.
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