The UK Border Agency is undergoing a consultation to decide which categories should lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain / Settlement.
The Government intends to reclassify all UK Visas as either [i] Temporary or [ii] Permanent. It is proposed that only Permanent visas will allow migrants to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain / Settlement in the UK.
This consultation is still in the preliminary stages. Final plans are not yet confirmed. There are also a number of restrictions still in discussion regarding the Points-Based System;
- Whether Tier 2 should become a Temporary immigration route that cannot lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.
- Whether other specific categories of Tier 2 migrant such as Ministers of Religion, Elite Sportspeople, and those earning over £150k; should retain an automatic route to settlement.
- To create a new visa category that would allow the most exceptional Tier 2 migrants to apply for settlement.
- To introduce greater restrictions on which Tier 2 migrants can change immigration status within the UK.
- Tier 2 migrants who cannot switch into a settlement route will only be able to stay up to 5 years. At the end of this period, the applicant and all dependants would be expected to leave the UK.
It is proposed that, if these changes do come into effect, this will apply to all those who entered on the Points-Based System from 06 April 2011.
Other topics under discussion include; the introduction of an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route to settlement; and greater restrictions on the Domestic Worker category
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