Sweeping immigration changes proposed- What does this mean for you?
At a speech at the Policy Exchange on 2 February 2012, the Immigration Minister Damian Green expressed a desire to ‘raise the tone of the immigration debate’ and start building a national consensus on how immigration can be made to work for Britain.
He committed to pressing on with sweeping reforms that impose restrictions on those migrants the country does not need, while developing a greater selectivity to attract those migrants the country wants.
Damian Green said:
‘We need to know not just that the right numbers of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here. People that will benefit Britain – not just those who will benefit by Britain’.
‘We have laid the foundations for a sustainable system where we get numbers down and keep them down. Now we shall make it work for Britain.’
The Minister confirmed the introduction of a new route for international graduate entrepreneurs – international students who have engaged in innovative entrepreneurial activity during their studies and want to stay on afterwards to develop their business ideas.
The government will also improve the system for some short-term business visitors and entertainers to ensure world-class performers are encouraged to come here.
One of the sweeping changes under the new proposals is that migrants seeking permanent settlement will be required to earn between £31,000 and £49,000 per annum. This news will be of grave concern to the thousands of skilled workers on Work Permits and Tier 2 Working Visas who are earning less than £31,000 such as Senior Care Workers, Nurses and Domestic Workers.
Mr Green also announced that he wanted to break the link between temporary and permanent migration and look at the way courts interpret the human right to family life, which he said has led to a “ridiculous and damaging situation” and risks a “dangerous” standoff between parliament and judges.
The government is also proposing to set a minimum income level for any sponsor seeking to bring in a foreign spouse and said the recommended level was between £18,600 and £25,700.
Full details of the reforms have not yet been revealed. It is important to note that these changes do not affect EU migrants from Eastern European countries such as Poland and Slovakia, or Bulgarians and Romanians exercising Treaty Rights.
If you have any questions regarding the above or need to understand how these changes will affect you, please send an email to one of our London Immigration Lawyers or at firstname.lastname@example.org.