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Shake up of the settlement requirements under the employment route

02 March 2012

The UK Border Agency has published a new Statement of Intent, which will bring radical changes affecting those under the employment related categories such as Tier 2 General, Tier 5 and Domestic worker.
According to the Statement of Intent the following changes will be introduced to the settlement requirements on 6 April 2012:
Tier 1 Exceptional talent, Entrepreneur and Investor
  • Tier 1 settlement rules will remain unchanged. Tier 1 migrants will also be able to extend their temporary leave under the current rules.
Tier 2 General
  • 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). 
Tier 5

  • Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchanges (GAE) sub-category scheme (internships, work experience/exchanges and youth exchanges) will be restricted to one-off stays of a maximum of 12 months. All other GAE schemes (research, fellowships and training schemes in the fields of science and medicine) will continue to attract up to a maximum 24 months' leave;
  • The length of stay associated with entering under Tier 5 International Agreements will be limited to six months, reflecting obligations under General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS) and Free Trade Agreements from autumn 2012. 
Domestic Worker

  • Leave to enter under the Overseas domestic workers in private households category will be restricted to 6 months with no option to extend it or change employers;
  • Private servants in diplomatic households will be able to apply under the Tier 5 International Agreement category.  Migrants will be able to stay for a maximum period of 5 years with no option to settle in the UK or change employers. Dependants may accompany the domestic worker and may work while they are here. 
Visitor visa

  • Visitor visa rules will be amended  to allow a defined group of professionals to undertake specific fee-paid activities for short stays of up to one month without having to meet formal sponsorship requirements
The above changes will affect those migrant who wish to apply to those applying from April 2012 to enter the UK under one of the categories mentioned in this article.


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.