Last week the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) published the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 813 outlining the key changes to the Immigration Rules. Within the changes, the UKVI quietly announced significant reductions to the minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 Settlement applications. As of 1 December 2020, Tier 2 workers will no longer need to earn £35,800 to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) in the UK. The Tier 2 minimum salary requirement threshold has been lowered to £25,600 for all applications submitted on or after 1 December 2020.
What is Tier 2 Settlement?
Tier 2 settlement is also referred to as indefinite leave to remain or permanent status. Skilled workers sponsored under the Tier 2 work visa route can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after spending 5 continuous years working in the UK. By applying for indefinite leave to remain migrant workers will no longer be restricted to work for their Tier 2 Sponsor and ultimately will be free of immigration restrictions. Another benefit of holding indefinite leave to remain is that there is no time restriction on how long a person can reside in the UK.
Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement reduced to £25,600
As of 1 December 2020, the Tier 2 minimum salary requirement will be reduced from £35,800 to £25,600. The announcement was unexpected but has been welcomed as the reduced salary threshold will enable a large influx of Applicants to settle in the UK who previously struggled to meet the salary requirement of £35,800. In addition to this, the UKVI announced that under the new rules, migrant workers who are sponsored for a job on the shortage of occupation list or a health or education occupation code listed in Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations will also be able to settle on salaries of £20,480 or above.
The 5-year qualifying period for settlement includes time as a Tier 2 General worker in which the applicant was sponsored for a job in one of the following occupation codes:
- 2111 Chemical scientists or 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists;
- 2113 Physical scientists or 2114 Social and humanities scientists;
- 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified;
- 2150 Research and development managers or 2311 Higher education teaching professionals.
Can the Tier 2 Settlement 5- year qualifying period be a combination of different visas?
The 5-year qualifying period can be accumulated from a number of different visas. Time on the following visas can be combined:
- Skilled Worker;
- Global talent;
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion;
- Tier 2 Sportsperson;
- A representative of an Overseas Business;
- Tier 1 Migrant, other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.
Shift in attitude regarding the minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 Settlement
The Tier 2 salary threshold was introduced by Theresa May in 2011 with the intention of reducing net migration. The introduction of the salary threshold was criticised by Amnesty International UK who has continued to lobby for a change. The change of policy suggests the UK is preparing for a no-deal Brexit and a shortage of workers. The reduction of the minimum salary requirement for skilled workers will ensure the brightest and best talent remains in the UK.
How to apply for Tier 2 Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)?
In order to apply for Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain Applicants must meet the requirements under paragraph 245 of the Immigration Rules (this may change under the new system in 2021). When preparing and submitting an application Applicants should read and consider the Home Office Tier 2 Policy Guidance. Home Office Policy Guidance is an important tool which can help navigate through the application process. If you wish to apply for Tier 2 settlement you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be of good character and meet the suitability requirements;
- You must have acquired 5 years of continuous residence and employment;
- You must meet the salary requirement £25,600 (from 1 December 2020);
- You must pass a Life in the UK test and meet the English language requirement; and
- You must also submit the mandatory documents required under the Immigration Rules.
It is always helpful to also provide information on your strength of connections in the United Kingdom and personal history, including character, conduct, associations and employment record.
How our immigration solicitors can help with Tier 2 Settlement applications
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in Tier 2 Settlement applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful Tier 2 Settlement applications for a range of different clients. The key to submitting successful applications is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our immigration solicitors to submit Tier 2 Settlement applications
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit Tier 2 Settlement application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 2 Settlement application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 2 Settlement application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 2 Settlement applications with our immigration solicitors
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Tier 2 Settlement application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful Tier 2 Settlement application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.