Non-European migrants will have to earn almost £10,000 over the average British salary to stay in the country past 5 years...
From April this year, non-European migrant workers will need to earn almost £10,000 over the average national income of £26,500 to qualify for settlement in the UK according to the Home Office.
From the 6th of April, Tier 2 migrants who have been living in the UK for more than five years will have to prove that they are being paid the new £35,000 pay threshold in order to stay in the country and those who don’t qualify will be ordered to leave the UK after six years. The previous policy allowed skilled migrant workers who had entered the UK to apply for permanent residence after 5 years and for British Citizenship a year later.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May has said that the change will help cut the number of non-Europeans and their dependants granted settlement in the country from 60,000 to 20,000 a year, while the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has said of the change: ‘Settlement in the UK is a privilege. We are sweeping aside the idea that everyone who comes here to work can settle, and instead reserving this important right only for the brightest and best.’
A petition calling for the Government to scrap the plans claims that the change ‘discriminates against low earners.’ The petition is now more than halfway to its target of 100,000 signatures which would see the issue raised in the House of Commons. Theresa May has yet to respond to the petition and critics of the policy.
Those who could lose their right to live in the UK thanks to the change in policy include charity workers, students, teachers, healthcare professionals and tech entrepreneurs. According to the Royal College of Nursing, the policy could see nearly 3500 nurses, who earn on average £22,000, kicked out of the country.
Migrants who are employed within jobs on the shortage occupation list – including scientists and researchers in PhD-level roles – will be exempt from the new threshold.
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