Immigrants ‘have to earn £35,000’ to settle in UK

London —Home Secretary Theresa May said the change – from April 2016 – would help cut the number of non-Europeans and their dependants granted settlement each year from 60,000 to 20,000.
The pay threshold will apply to people wanting to remain permanently after more than five years working in the UK.
Those who don’t qualify will be ordered to leave the UK after six years.
The pay threshold is the first time that a British government has imposed an economic test on the right to settlement in the UK. For decades, settlement has been granted on the basis of length of time living in – and ties to – the UK, recognising that people who have been living in the country for five years have made it their permanent home.
Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to reduce annual net migration to “tens of thousands” from the current level of around 250,000.
It is aiming to bring the figure, which includes students and the families of visa holders, to below 100,000 by 2015 – a year before the latest restriction is due to come into force.
In a written statement to Parliament, Mrs May said: “Until now, settlement has been a virtually automatic consequence of five years’ residence in the UK as a skilled worker. Those who have settled have tended to be less well paid and lower-skilled than those who have not.
We argued strongly that such international academics and researchers should be made exempt from any pay threshold on the basis that their salaries are not comparable to those of highly skilled migrants working in other sectors Nicola Dandridge, Universities UK
“And the volumes of migrant workers settling have reached record levels in recent years.” According to official figures, in 1997 fewer than 10,000 migrant workers and their dependants were granted settlement, but by 2010 this had risen to 84,000.Mrs May said: “So in future, we will exercise control to ensure that only the brightest and best remain permanently.”
The £35,000 earnings threshold will be waived for any “shortage occupations” if official advisers tell ministers that the UK needs more workers with skills or training.

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