UK proposes reducing the number of immigrants who can apply for permanent residence

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

The UK has announced a number of proposals aimed at cutting the ties between many immigration routes and eventual settlement (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.

"Migrants coming to the UK to work on temporary visas will no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the government today," the UK Border Agency said in a statement.

The Government has launched a consultation that would classify a number of immigration routes as either "temporary" or "permanent" and will also make it more difficult if you wish to extend your visa in the UK.

"The proposals I am making today are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration," said Immigration Minister Damien Green.

"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," he added.

The key proposals announced by the Government include:

  • re-branding Tier 2 for skilled workers as temporary and removing the option for automatic settlement after a certain period of years
  • allowing certain categories of Tier 2 migrant such as those earning over £150,000 and those in occupations of a specific economic or social value to the UK, to retain an automatic route to permanent residence (settlement)
  • creating a new category into which, after three years in the UK, the most exceptional Tier 2 migrants may switch and go on to apply for settlement
  • restricting Tier 2 migrants who do not switch into a settlement route to living in the UK for a maximum of five years with the expectation that they and any dependants will leave at the end of that time
  • introducing an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route to settlement
  • restricting the maximum period a Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Youth Mobility Scheme) can stay to 12 months
  • closing or reforming routes for overseas domestic workers

Immigration to the UK has become more difficult under the UK Coalition Government for skilled workers and students. Tougher requirements have been introduced if you wish to come to the UK under say the Tier 4 student visa. During the last twelve months there has been an annual immigration cap in place for skilled immigration. A consultation on restricting family immigration will take place at a later date