Thanks to new immigration rules set out by Theresa May, migrants from outside Europe who have lived in the UK on a Tier 2 for more than five years will have to prove a salary of at least £35,000 to stay in the country. Those who don’t meet the threshold will be denied settlement and face deportation. This will come into effect at 6th of April.

Why has the threshold changed?

The threshold currently stands at £20,800 – around £5,000 less than the average UK salary. As part of the government’s new initiative to reduce the number of unskilled migrants, the new threshold is designed to make it harder for low-earning migrants to stay in the UK on a long-term basis.

Why is the threshold a problem?

The new threshold presents a problem due to the fact that it is almost £10,000 higher than the average UK salary. The threshold presents problems for skilled, yet low to medium-earning workers who are not from the UK, such as teachers, nurses, IT professionals, marketing managers, startup entrepreneurs and people who work in charities. These are vital sectors and this new threshold could mean that thousands of integral employees could face deportation, leaving the UK short of workers.

The government has temporarily exempted nurses from the new threshold over fears that the NHS could be left short of workers, however this exemption will only last while nurses are on the Shortage Occupation List. Once removed from the list, non-EU nurses will have to meet the threshold.

What are the changes that David Cameron has agreed?

This new threshold will only affect you if:

    • you’re a non-EU migrant to the UK
    • you’re seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain on a Tier 2 visa
    • your annual salary is less than £35,000
    • you’ve lived in the UK for five years
    • you are not a nurse

If you’re an EU migrant seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain based on the family route then this new threshold will not affect you.

What can you do?

A petition has been set up by Mr Harbord that calls for the government to scrap the new £35,000 threshold for non-EU citizens. If it reaches 100,000 signatures it will be debated by MPs, but it only needs 10,000 to receive a response from the government. You can sign it here if you want your say.

If you’re a non-EU migrant and want legal advice on what to do, you can also call our expert Brighton solicitors on 01273 696962 or send us a message via our contact form.

Arlingsworth specialises in all areas of UK Immigration Law and have helped dozens of clients with issues such as deportation, asylum and UK Visas. If you want to know your rights, then give us a call.