June 20th, 2005


userinfo senji
2005/06/20 14:24:00 - Item: A Permit (to work)
I am being confused about the concept of Work Permits.

Now, it strikes me that, ignoring for a moment the concept of "illegal immigrants", Work Permits can only provide a brake upon the economy (besides being the sort of right-minded paper-pushing that only governments could think up). (Obviously, an illegal immigrant cannot, by definition, work legally except where some special provision is made in which case it might be disingenuous to call them "illegal immigrants".)

Does anyone care to defend the Work Permit before my sight?
Current Mood: [mood icon] confused
Entry Tags: bureaucracy, government, politics, question

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userinfo atreic
[userpic]
2005/06/20 13:40:22
It's all OK if you can hypothosise a case where you want people in your country (legally) but don't want them to be able to legally work. So if you want to force the foreigners to pump their savings into your economy while your own people still have jobs, it seems to make sense?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/06/20 13:49:18
But if you allow them to work then you'll have a larger workforce which, unless you have a massive unemployment problem, will mean that you have the potential to fulfill more jobs and hence grow the economy.

This is doubly so because (legal) immigrants tend to be skilled workers which are usually at a shortage in the workforce.
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userinfo pm215
[userpic]
2005/06/20 13:41:58

I'm not going to defend them, but they tend to tie in to visa status. You can be allowed to live in the country but not to actually work. For example, I'm in Japan as a student and can't work full time. If you come in as a tourist on a temporary visa then work is definitely not permitted. Further, categories of work tend to be restricted -- so if you're filling a place a native Japanese could not (eg computing or other engineering job, or translation or other job requiring a native English speaker) that's OK, but you can't just get a construction job, say.

So they exist for the same reason that visas exist at all -- government desire to restrict who comes into the country so that people who already live (and vote!) there aren't unduly burdened/inconvenienced/inflamed by the tabloids into thinking that their jobs are being abducted by aliens.

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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/06/20 13:52:15
I'm less confused by the concept of telling people "you can come to our country for x months and not work" than "you can come and live in our country indefinitely, but you can't work until you've completed this additional arcane piece of process".

(Ignoring the case of "you can come and live in out country whilst you have a job with $CORP")
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userinfo pm215
[userpic]
2005/06/20 14:10:01

Apparently in the UK system the work permit is something given to the employer rather than the worker -- it's a thing from the government saying it's OK to appoint some random foreigner to a particular post. The worker can only get a suitable work visa if they've got a job lined up where there's been a work permit issued. Also, if you have a permanent resident visa you can do any random job just like a citizen.

This seems reasonably sane, so perhaps it's just the US system that's confusing you?

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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/06/20 14:13:15
That sort of system seems to make more sense to me. That's not to say that I like it, but...
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userinfo hairyears
[userpic]
2005/06/20 14:44:42


It's to stop tourists and students working.

In particular, it is intended to prevent overseas relatives visiting naturalised immigrants and staying here to work: the policy has its origins in the large-scale immigration from the Commonwealth which, while economically beneficial at a time of labour shortages, proved bitterly unpopular among those who saw immigrants as competing for jobs and low-cost housing in later times of high unemployment.

Other countries have a concept of temporary labour - 'gastarbeiter' - in which foreigners work for a while then go home, and are never considered fully citizens or fully part of society. Britain has always rejected this approach.







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userinfo mtbc100
2005/06/21 00:12:39
In part, it's protectionism for local wages. If people from much poorer countries could come to work, they would be willing to work in richer countries for much less than the locals would like to earn to sustain their better standard of living, so the locals (the electorate) would be dissatisfied with their unemployment or with their low wages.
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Item: A Permit (to work) - Squaring the circle...

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