People moving to the UK through the Tier 2 work permit route look likely to find it increasingly difficult to settle in the country following the confirmation of changes to the immigration system.
Last year the government ran a consultation concerning reforms to the employment-related settlement route, as well as Tier 5 and overseas domestic workers routes.
Now immigration minister Damian Green has confirmed the government's response to this consultation, stating that the changes will see Tier 2 work permit holders subject to a number of new requirements for settlement.
They will no longer be eligible for settlement based on the length of time they have spent in the UK. Instead, a new minimum pay threshold will apply that will mean only the “brightest and best workers who strengthen the UK economy” will be able to apply to stay in the country on a permanent basis.
Mr Green added: “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.”
He added that the reforms are aimed to ensure that the country is “more selective not only about those who are allowed to come here but also those who are allowed to stay permanently”.
The minimum salary threshold looks to be set at £35,000 for Tier 2 migrants, while there will be a continued direct route to settlement for investors, entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented migrants under the Tier 1 route.