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UK Immigration: New policy for Tier 2 holders and settlement

22 March 2012

In the recent Statement of Intent announced by the UK Border Agency on 15 March 2012, several major changes are going to be introduce affecting  in particular Tier 2 holders and their prospective  application for settlement in the UK.

•    Maximum six years of residence requirement for Tier 2 applicants

According to the new rules, a maximum stay of six years would be applied to those who entered or switched into the Tier 2 scheme after 6 April 2011. After five years of lawful and continuous residence, migrants might qualify to apply for the settlement. However, those who do not apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain must leave the UK before the expiry date of their current leave and wait for 12 months before being able to re-apply under Tier 2 category.

•    Minimum pay requirement for settlement

Those who entered or switched into the Tier 2 scheme from 6 April 2011 would have to be paid at least £35,000 per annum or the correct rate in relevant UK Border Agency's Code of Practice, whichever is higher to qualify for settlement. The good news is, however, that those applicants whose occupation is found on the Shortage Occupation list or job is designated as "PhD-level" are excluded from the £35,000 minimum pay threshold, but they  will still have to be paid at the appropriate rate for the occupation.

•    Probationary period likley to be increased for spouses and partners of Tier 2

The dependents of Tier 2 migrants are still allowed to come and work in the UK. However, the UK Border Agency has recently consulted to extend the probationary period from the current two years to five years before allowing spouses and partners of British citizens or person settled in the UK to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The UKBA is also planning to increase the level of English required to meet the criteria. These new criteria are likely to be introduced in fall 2012.

It is important to be aware that all the Immigration Rules are constantly subject to review and changes. As a result, an applicant must meet the criteria when he/she applies for leave to enter, remain or to settle.

 

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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.