The retrospective application of tightened HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrants Programme) rule last year by Home Office breached human rights and must be scrapped, the joint Commons and Lords Human Rights Committee said.

HSMP is aimed to attract skilled workers to work and start business in the UK. the applicants were assessed in a point-based system, and if successful, would be granted a visa enabling them to work in the UK not affiliated with a particular employer. Under the original rule, a HSMP visa holder can apply for permanent residency (Infinite Leave to Remain, ILR) status after four years if they are ecomonic active.

Last year Home Office changed HSMP rule so that applicants must work for five years before they can apply for permanent residency. The new rule was not only applicable to new applicants, but also to those who were already in the UK before the announcement. The retrospecive application of new HSMP rule proved to be controversial. A campaign organised by affected HSMP holders has since tried to challenge the retrospective application, arguing that it’s a breaking of fairness and trust by the Home Office.

The Committee’s chairman, Labour MP Andrew Dismore, said that while the government has entitled to introduce the changes for new entrants, it was ‘cheating’ on the deal offered to those who has entered under the original rules. He said, “These changes are patently unfair, truly a case of movine goalposts during the match.”

The report said that was a clear breach of the right to respect for home and family life contained in Article 8 of European Convention of Human rights.

The full report can be read from Parliament’s website.

BBC’s report.