On 6 April 2016, the Home Office introduced a new Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement of £35,000. The new Tier 2 Settlement salary requirement has directly affected Tier 2 workers who wish to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement has been criticised and labelled as unfair by business sectors predominantly relying on expert overseas workers. However, there are some jobs which are exempt from meeting the Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement; these jobs are listed on the Shortage of Occupation List.
Impact of New Minimum Salary Requirement for Tier 2 Settlement
The Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement has made recruitment and long-term planning for Tier 2 employers ever more tricky and difficult. As a direct consequence of the changes in the Immigration Rules, Tier 2 employers must now either pay their Tier 2 workers at least £35,000 or face the possibility of losing an experienced member of staff. The Teaching, IT and Journalist sectors are amongst the worst affected by the new Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement. Despite ongoing criticism, the Home Office is adamant the new changes are fair and proportionate. A Home Office spokesperson when questioned described the changes as necessary for the development of the UK workforce as well as to tackle net migration.
The Home Office believes the changes will encourage employers to recruit and train workers settled in the UK before exploring the possibility of recruiting overseas migrant workers. However, the Home Office has not considered the fact that there is a gap in the UK workforce and there are particular jobs roles which cannot be fulfilled by UK workers and require specialist workers from overseas.
Exemptions from the Minimum Salary Requirement for Tier 2 Settlement Applications
The new changes to the Immigration Rules in respect of the Tier 2 Settlement minimum salary requirement will apply to Tier 2 workers who entered or switched into the Tier 2 category after 6 April 2011.
The only exception to the Tier 2 Settlement Minimum Salary Requirement is job occupations which are listed on the shortage of occupation lists. All nurses and paramedics at any level are exempt from meeting this rule. There are also a number of specialist job roles listed on the shortage of occupation list that is also exempt.
A full list of jobs on the shortage of occupation list can be found here.
Tier 2 Settlement Eligibility Requirements
It is important to note that the maximum period a Tier 2 worker can remain in the UK on a Tier 2 Work Visa is 6 years. Therefore workers who wish to continue to work for their employers in the UK are advised to apply for Tier 2 Settlement in an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. To apply for Tier 2 Settlement the following requirements must be met under paragraph 245HF of the Immigration Rules:
- Applicants must not fall under the General Grounds for Refusal and must not be in breach of any if the UK immigration laws;
- Applicants must have 5 years lawful continuous residence in the UK without excessive absences;
- Applicants must earn at least £35,000 per annum; and
- Applicants must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the UK.
In addition to meeting the requirements under paragraph 245HF of the Immigration Rules, Applicants must also provide the specified documents listed under paragraph 245HH of the Immigration Rules.
Using Legal Representation to Submit Tier 2 Settlement Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a Tier 2 Settlement application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
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, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 2 Settlement Application
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 Tier 2 Settlement application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 2 Settlement 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. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. 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 to discuss a Tier 2 Settlement application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.