From 6th April 2016, non-EU migrants earning less than £35,000 may be forced to leave. The new policy comes into force next month and applies to all overseas workers who have been in the UK for five years on a Tier 2 visa.

Immigrants to the UK, who are unable to prove they earn at least £35,000 will be denied indefinite leave to remain and may face deportation. The Home Office’s analysis of the new threshold revealed that the changes would have a particularly significant impact on teachers, the IT sector, marketing managers and also journalists. In fact, a recent parliamentary debate on the subject revealed that journalists working for BBC World Service would be negatively affected.

What are the changes in the law?

To settle in the UK as a skilled worker, if you are a non-EU migrant, you will need a Tier 2 visa. To be granted a Tier 2 visa you must:

  • Have a job offer in the UK that pays, at least, £20,800 per year
  • Have had a bank balance of  at least £945 for 90 days
  • Hold a certificate of sponsorship from your employer
  • Pay a £200 annual healthcare surcharge
  • Prove your English language proficiency

After you have spent five years in the UK on a Tier 2 visa, you may apply for indefinite leave to remain. However, from April 6th, 2016, those applying for indefinite leave to remain will need to earn at least £35,000 per year.

Are there any exemptions to the new threshold?

Nurses are at present exempt from the £35,000 a year threshold as is anyone in a Ph.D. level role and also anyone part of a profession that has been on the official ‘shortage occupation list’ while they have been living in the UK. However, these migrants may be affected in the future.

Those who have been in the UK for more than five years will not be affected. The change in the law will not apply to anyone who entered the country on a Tier 2 visa on or before April 5, 2011, or to anyone who has been living in the country for ten continuous years. However, you can’t have left the UK for more than 180 days at a time in this period, or 540 days in total.

If you are on a marriage visa, you will not be affected by the changes.  If you are still unsure as to whether you will be affected by the changes, or for any other concerns you may have about Tier 2 visas or immigration law, contact our team of specialist solicitors today.

Contact our Immigration Solicitors Birmingham

If you wish to submit an application for a Tier 2 visa or apply for indefinite leave to remain, the team at Sultan Lloyd Solicitors have the experience and expertise required to advise you successfully on your application to the UK Border Agency. To find out how we can help you, please contact our Birmingham office on 01212482850 to make an appointment with one of our immigration specialists.