On March 7th the new proposed £35,000 threshold will be debated in the Parliament for the first time.
Skilled migrants in the future will only qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as settlement, in the future if they are earning a minimum salary. The Home Secretary has announced the plan as a move towards creating a temporary migrant workforce in the UK.
The new rules will mean that any skilled worker who has been in the UK for five years will now need to earn at least £35,000 per annum in order to qualify for ILR. It is expected that there will be some exceptions to the limit, including a lower earnings threshold for jobs in shortage or at PhD level. Temporary permission to enter and remain in the UK will also be capped at 6 years, to reduce access to ILR through the long-residence channel (after 10 years in the UK).
The changes in settlement rights will also include a new rule removing the rights of overseas nannies, cooks and other domestic workers to settle in Britain after five years. In 2010, 15,700 visas were issued to foreign domestic workers from outside Europe. The new rules mean that in future they will only be able to work for foreign visitors and their period in Britain will be restricted to six months.
A petition was launched in January 2016 to fight the changes has now received over 100,000 signatures and it has been confirmed that a debate has been scheduled for Westminster Hall on Monday 7 March. This will be the first time that the proposal has been properly scrutinized by Parliament.
Theresa May is facing calls to rethink the “discriminatory” new earnings threshold of £35,000 for non-EU migrants that could starve Britain of vital talent in the teaching, charity and entrepreneur sectors when the changes take effect in April.