Only certain categories of Gurkhas can settle in Britain, despite court victoryApril 24th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by ANI
London, Apr 24 (ANI): Only certain categories of Gurkhas veterans will be allowed to settle in the United Kingdom, leaving tens of thousands of other hopefuls in the lurch despite a landmark court ruling.
The British Home Office ruled out a blanket policy, amid fears that it would lead to up to 100,000 veterans and their dependants wanting to come to Britain.
Only certain categories of veterans, including the bravest or seriously injured, will be allowed to come and stay, The Telegraph reported.
The move will infuriate the Gurkhas and supporters, including actress Joanna Lumley, who thought they had won a long fought battle last year.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas will respond to a High Court decision, which concluded that rules, which stopped Gurkhas who served before July 1997 from settling in Britain, were illegal.
Campaigners celebrated the ruling last October as a “victory for fairness”, and had hoped it meant up to 40,000 Gurkhas who had served before the cut off date would now be allowed to live here.
Currently only those who retired after July 1997, when the Gurkha base was moved from Hong Kong to England, could automatically stay in Britain.
But the Home Office will insist the judge did not say the principle of the cut-off date was unlawful, only the criteria surrounding those who could come.
It will publish revised criteria but it will stop well short of allowing all pre-1997 veterans from settling, Whitehall sources disclosed.
Instead the new policy will be generous to those who were honoured for bravery or valour, require medical care due to injuries suffered during service and those who served a lengthy period, which will be higher than the four year requirement currently in place for Gurkhas who joined after July 1997.
Veterans who had their applications for settlement put on hold pending the court case, believed to be around 1,100 who will also be looked on favourably.
The policy will lead to fewer than 10,000 Gurkhas being affected instead of nearly 40,000. (ANI)
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