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Welcome to Britain. Thanks for the Hard Work. Now Get Lost

Rising immigration to the U.K. has led to a tightening on visas for non-EU citizens - and caught one Japanese academic in a bureaucratic trap.
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Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Miwa Hirono has packed her bags and returned to Japan from Britain. Her problem wasn't her job: she worked at Nottingham University from 2008, and her employer wanted her to stay. Her research into China's foreign policy was valuable, and she collaborated with the U.K. Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office. Her problem was a promise made by David Cameron.

The Conservative leader, seeking election as prime minister in 2010, said he'd cut net immigration to the "tens of thousands.'' But because Britain is in the European Union, he had no power to stop anyone coming from the 27 other EU nations. Instead, officials focused on blocking, removing and making life difficult for people they could stop, including highly skilled migrants from outside the EU - scientists, engineers and academics.