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Tier 2 work permit: important changes to the settlement criteria from April 2012

01 March 2012

 The UK Border Agency has published a new Statement of Intent, which will bring radical changes affecting those under the Tier 2 General category of the Points Based System.
Following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)'s advice the UK immigration authorities have now decided to accept the recommendations regarding the most economically important Tier 2 migrants and their eligibility for settlement.
According to the Statement of Intent the following changes will be introduced to the settlement requirement (for those under the Tier 2 General category) on 6 April 2012:
  • Tier 2 General and sportsperson migrants will be subject to a minimum settlement pay threshold of either £35,000 p.a. or the appropriate rate for their job as set out in the UK Border Agency Codes of Practice, whichever is higher.
  • Those in specified PhD level occupations and in shortage occupations will be exempt from the minimum £35,000 pay threshold, but must still be paid the appropriate rate (i.e. specialist nurses, teachers and social workers); 
  •  All Tier 2 temporary leave will be capped at a maximum of six years.
  • Those who leave the UK after 6 years under the Tier 2 General category will not be able to re-apply for entry clearance as a Tier 2 migrant until 12 months after their last leave as a Tier 2 migrant has expired.
  • The new rules will apply to those eligible to apply for settlement from April 2016 (i.e. those who entered the points-based system after the Immigration Rules changed on 6 April 2011). 
Migrants applying under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Investor and Exceptional Talent will not be affected by the above changes and will remain their right to settle in the UK. 


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.