UK 'settlement visa' to become harder

From next year, it will be more difficult to apply for UK settlement under the Tier 2 programme, which allows skilled workers entry into the country.

The salary threshold that determines whether a skilled worker can apply for indefinite leave to remain will be raised, starring from April 6, 2016.

Under the Tier 2 programme, immigrants can apply for a position in the UK if the position cannot be filled by a settled worker.

After five years of living and working in the UK, immigrants can apply for settlement in the UK, which is termed indefinite leave to remain.

However, this right will be reserved for high income workers, as a minimum income of £35,000 is required.

The new rule applies to immigrants from outside the European Economic Area and does not apply to skilled workers filling positions in demand.

The measure aims to curb the total volume of migrant settlement and select only the best of the best to stay in the UK, the government was quoted.

Those who do not meet the new minimum income threshold will need to find another way to stay in the country.

Alternatively, they can extend their Tier 2 visa by another year and then leave the UK.

Currently around 250,000 immigrants enter the country every year.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants to reduce this number, inclusive of families of UK visa holders and students, to below 100,000 a year before the new rule is enforced.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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