From April 2016, migrant workers will need to earn at least £35,000 to qualify for settlement in the UK. Will this affect your life in the country?
Non-EU migrants who have spent more than five years working in the country will be required to earn £35,000 per year or else face deportation, according to a policy that comes into effect in April next year. The policy, announced in 2012 by the home secretary Theresa May, has been criticised this week by the Royal College of Nursing.
It predicted chaos in the health service, and urged the Home Office to add nursing to the list of occupations exempt from the rules and reconsider the salary threshold.
But nurses won’t be the only people affected by the changes. Migration figures published in May reveal migration for work from outside Europe rose by 24,000 to 68,000 in 2014, with nearly all coming on skilled work visas. £35,000 is a salary that won’t affect those working in finance or, for the most part, IT, but there are many other sectors with workers who will be forced to leave when the pay threshold comes into force.
For decades, settlement has been granted on the basis of length of time living in the UK, as well as pre-existing ties to the country. The policy is part of the government’s determination to reduce annual net migration.