UK Immigration Minister Damian Green claims immigration changes will reduce immigration

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The Immigration Minister in the UK Damian Green has said that the changes that have been brought in from 6 April 2011 will reduce levels of new immigration to the tens of thousands per year. Changes to the immigration system include the following:

  • The number of people allowed into the UK under the Tier 2 visa skilled sponsored route will be 20,700. There has anyway been a similar "temporary limit" over the last twelve months. If you earn a salary of £150,000 or more or come under Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer you will not be subject to the limit.
  • If you come to the UK to work, you will need to have a graduate-level job offer, speak at intermediate level of English and meet the salary and employment requirements.
  • 1,000 visas will also be available to people of "exceptional talent". According to UK immigration this will be for "…current and prospective leaders in the fields of science, engineering and the arts…". Unfortunately, hardly anyone qualifies for this category.
  • Tier 1 (General) Visa abolished.
  • You will only now be able to come under Tier 1 if you come under the exceptional talent, investor and entrepreneur categories.
  • There will be significant changes to the Tier 4 student visa category.
  • If you wish to come under the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer route and earn between £24,000 and £40,000 you will only be able to stay for a maximum of twelve months in the UK. If you earn more than £40,000 you will be able to stay for a maximum of five years including extensions.
  • If you come under Tier 1 Investor and invest £5 million you will usually be granted permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK after 3 years. If you invest £10 million or more you will able to apply for permanent residence after 2 years. Under the previous law all Tier 1 investors had to wait 5-year to gain indefinite leave to remain.
  • If you are a Tier 1 Entrepreneur you will also be able to gain permanent residence in the UK more quickly if you create 10 jobs or turn over £5 million in a 3-year period.
  • There will also be tougher requirements in other respects if you are in the Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2 category and wish to apply for permanent residence. There will be a new criminality threshold and income requirement and changes in the English language requirements.

Immigration Minister Damian Green had the following to say:

"The annual limit will not only help reduce immigration down to sustainable levels but will protect those businesses and institutions that are vital to our economy.

"The new system was designed in consultation with business. We have made clear that as the recovery continues, we need employers to look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country.

"We are overhauling all routes of entry to tackle abuses, make the system more effective and bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands."

If you need help with your UK visa application application can help. You may also wish to consider new immigration destinations. Perhaps Singapore, Hong Hong, etc. Countries such as the UK, Canada and Australia have made immigration more difficult in recent years.