In a new set of immigration rules announced by the British government, non-European Union (EU) residents who earn less than 35,000 British pounds will be deported, reported the The Guardian.
The new rules will come into effect from April 6.
The regulation will be applicable to skilled workers who have lived in UK for less than 10 years, and earn less than the stipulated amount of 35,000 pounds. Certain jobs, such as nursing, are exempt from the regulation.
A petition to repeal the new regulations has been signed by 100,000 British citizens, and was also discussed in the parliament earlier this week, but the British government insists that the new regulations are fair and the people have had many years to prepare.
The petition has garnered support from SNP, Labour and Green members of parliaments (MPs).
“In the past it has been too easy for some businesses to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long-term decision to train our workforce here at home,” said a British Home Office spokesman.
In an impact assessment, the Home Office estimated that the new salary threshold will cost the British economy between 181m pounds and 171m pounds. Other organisations have cited a much higher amount, 761m pounds.
The British government has admitted that the new measures will have a “modest” effect on reducing net immigration.
“We do not believe there should be an automatic link between coming to work in the UK temporarily and staying permanently. The 35,000 threshold was set following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent advisory body consisting of expert labour market economists, and was equivalent to the median pay of the UK population in skilled jobs,” said the British Home Office while justifying the new immigration regulations.
Government officials have pointed out that anyone entering the UK on a Tier 2 basis has been aware of the changes since 2011.
The new rules also do not apply to anyone who entered the country on a Tier 2 visa on or before 5 April 2011.
How the rules have changed:
To enter or stay in the UK as a skilled worker, non-EU migrants must have a Tier 2 visa. To qualify, one must have been offered a job in the UK and have held at least 945 pounds in the bank account for 90 days.
The job a prospective migrant is offered must pay at least 20,800 pounds, although the British government is currently considering a recommendation to raise the amount to 30,000 pounds. Certain occupations do not have to meet this threshold.
Individuals must also get a certificate of sponsorship from the employer and pay 200 pounds per year as a healthcare surcharge and should be able to prove their knowledge of the English language.
Non-EU migrants are only permitted to remain in the UK on Tier 2 visas for a maximum of six years.
However, at the moment, skilled workers who have been living in UK on these visas for five years are able to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK, this rule is about to be changed.
From April 6, only those who earn 35,000 pounds a year will be eligible to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” once they have lived in the UK for five years.