People who immigrate to Britain with temporary UK visas will no longer be able to assume that they are eligible for permanent settlement.
This idea has been proposed by the government today (June 9th), in a bid to reduce UK immigration to "sustainable levels".
According to immigration minister Damian Green, the suggestion is one of a number that are designed to "break the link between temporary and permanent migration".
He explained: "Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The immigration system has got to be made to work properly.
"We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home."
As part of its move to reduce immigration, the government has proposed re-branding the Tier 2 work permit route as temporary.
This would, allegedly, help to end the assumption that settlement is available for people who enter the country this way.
However, certain categories of UK Tier 2 work permit holders would still be able to obtain settlement.
For example, those earning £150,000 or above or people in occupations of a specific economic or social value to this country might be permitted to settle.
Any remaining "exceptional" Tier 2 work permit holders might also be given the opportunity to apply for a new settlement category after remaining in the country for three years.
Those that do not switch on to a settlement route will only be permitted to remain in this country for a maximum of five years, with the expectation that they and any dependants will leave after this time, the government suggested.
Mr Green added: "A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK."