There are proposed changes that will mean skilled migrant workers coming to the UK under Tier 2 of the points-based system will no longer be able to settle in the UK simply
based on the amount of time they have spent in the UK.
A new minimum pay threshold will also mean that only migrants who strengthen the UK economy, will be able to apply to stay in the UK permanently.
The new rules will break the link between coming to the UK to work and settling in the UK. Exceptionally talented people, investors and entrepreneurs will continue to have the option to stay. Skilled temporary workers wanting to apply for settlement will have to earn at least £35,000 or the going rate for their job, whichever is higher. Migrants doing jobs which are in shortage, and scientists and researchers in PhD-level roles, will be exempt from the £35,000 threshold. Temporary permission to enter and remain in the UK will be capped at 6 years, to reinforce the temporary nature of Tier 2.
The government intends to:
- continue to provide a direct route to settlement for investors, entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented migrants under Tier 1.
- continue to provide a route to settlement for the best Tier 2 migrants, if they meet a minimum salary threshold of £35,000.
- allow those who enter as PhD-level scientists and researchers to qualify for settlement without having to meet the £35,000 minimum salary threshold.
- make all workers in shortage occupation jobs (currently including specialist nurses, teachers and social workers) exempt from the minimum settlement salary threshold of £35,000;
- allow Tier 2 migrants to extend their temporary permission to stay in the UK up to maximum of 6 years, and introduce a 12-month ‘cooling off’ period;
- retain a route for overseas domestic workers in private households, but only when accompanying a visitor and limited to 6 months’ stay with no right to change employer;
- retain the current route of entry for private servants in diplomatic households under Tier 5 (Temporary worker – International agreement), with a maximum stay of 5 years and no ability to change employer or to settle.
There are also plans to make changes to the visitor rules to allow professionals to undertake specific fee-paid activities for short stays of up to 1 month without formal sponsorship requirements.
The government is reforming all routes of entry to the UK in order to reduce immigration. It has already taken action to reduce numbers by restricting the number of migrants from outside the European Union who can come here to work, and introducing changes to the student visa system. The changes announced today will bring greater control over who is able to settle in the UK.
To find out more about the changes or to discuss your immigration matter in relation to this, contact us now for immediate assistance! Alternatively, contact us using our online enquiry form and receive a response within 24 hours.