Since January we've been trying to get the Home Office to overturn, or modify, a policy coming in April which dictates that any Tier 2 skilled worker who wishes to apply for settlement must earn over £35,000.
A Tier 2 skilled worker is a non-EU degree graduate who, in order to enter the UK, had to be starting a job paying £20,800 that was advertised in the UK for over a month to prove that no UK resident was suitable. They must work here for 5 years on a Tier 2 visa before they can apply for 'indefinite leave to remain' or ILR. Time spent on a student visa or a post-study visa does not count towards this.
We think that this is unfair, and should be changed. For all our work promoting the petition I think the key to our growth so far has been the support we received from people who agreed with us on the basis of this simple idea. There is a strong economic argument to be made in favour of changing the new measure, and you can read more about it here. But at its core this law hinges on such blatant discrimination that people joined our battle without any need for us to convince them.
One of the weird experiences of this campaign has been seeing our petition loop back around on social media so that people are sending it to me saying "Have you seen this, it's just like yours!" or hearing, from strangers in the pub "Oh yes, I signed that one!" The constant surprise of this whole experience has provided brief rays of sunshine in the stormclouds of fury we all feel towards the Home Office.
It's amazing how far word of mouth and the goodwill of UK citizens has carried us. Sharing and retweeting are always going to be the lifeblood on which this campaign thrives, and we'll always need you to keep doing it.
But now we need to ask you to donate. So far we've been paying our expenses ourselves - the website, the deposit for our event on April 6th, fliers, producing more fundraising solutions - but they're becoming too much to handle. We expect legal fees too, as we start to consult immigration experts.
We need more support for:
Events - our first is the 6th April (more info here) and we also have representatives running in the London Marathon. These will be ongoing throughout the year.
Legal fees, as we start to consult immigration experts
Printing costs for fliers and banners
Supporting more fundraising solutions
Admin costs - campaigns like this take time and resources to organise efficiently
Our website and hosting
But hey, even though we're furiously working (in every sense of the word) to pressure the opaque and inscrutable Home Office to save the homes and jobs of our dearest friends, we can still have a little fun along the way. So our target is $35,000 USD. It's less than the Tier 2 skilled workers are being asked to earn, which is £35,000 GBP. But I guess you could say the number 35 is very much our motif.