The rules for settlement in the UK are due to change on 6 April 2011.
The UKBA is planning to tighten current settlement criteria by introducing:
- a new criminality threshold. Applicants will need to be clear of unspent convictions when they apply for settlement.
- a new income requirement. Tier 1 (general) migrants will need to meet the same income criteria that applied when they last extended their permission to stay in the UK. Employers may wish to check in with their employees who hold tier 1 general status and who are shortly due to apply for ILR at an early stage so the employer and the individual will know if the individual will be able to obtain settlement. Employers may be asked by the individual to sponsor them under tier 2 if their tier 1 general status is due to expire and they are unable to apply for settlement.
- individuals who have been in tier 2 (general) or tier 2 (intra company transfer), or who have held work permits, will need to be paid the appropriate rate as stated in UKBA’s codes of practice.
- reform of the English language requirement. Individuals in tier 1, tier 2 and their precursor routes will need to pass the Life in the UK test rather than an ESOL with citizenship course. Transitional arrangements will apply.
- an accelerated route to settlement for tier 1 (investor) and tier 1 (entrepreneur) migrants who meet enhanced criteria.
Further information on these changes can be found by clicking here.