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Non-EU Workers not Eligible to settle in the UK if earning less than £35,000 per annum

Under previous immigration laws, non-EU migrants have been able to come over to the UK on a working visa for up to a maximum of six years. At the end of the six years, they would then have the choice to either leave the UK and return to their native country, or they would have been eligible to apply for permanent residence to settle in the UK.

Recent changes to legislation have been severely overshadowed by Brexit and so the new rulings may not even be on your radar, despite them being determined back in 2012. To bring you up to speed, as of April 2016, new rulings have come into force that require all non-EU migrants to earn a minimum of £35,000 per annum in order to apply for residency within the UK.

If the migrant worker does not earn a minimum of £35,000, the option will no longer be available for them to settle in the UK by applying for permanent residency and they will have to leave the UK and reapply for a new visa.

Despite many questions being raised, it seems that should a worker not qualify on their current salary, they will not be able to work multiple jobs in order to make up the shortfall to comply with the minimum salary requirements. They must meet the salary criteria based on one job role.

The new immigration laws will affect all non-EU migrants on a tier 2 visa.

The figure of £35,000 per annum seems to have been established and defended due to the gross median annual salary in the City of London being £48,000. It is important to bear in mind that the actual City of London is only 1 square mile and that the median annual salary within ‘inner London’ is only £34,473. Already it could be argued that the salary threshold could prove to be an issue. Especially when you look at the fact that the national average annual salary is £26,500 and this threshold will apply nationwide, it is likely to prove difficult for many to reach, meaning employers may lose some of their long serving and key skilled staff.

With these figures in mind, and with the fact it is estimated that 40,000 people will be affected by the new ruling, will your business see an impact? If nothing else, it is of course a reminder to regularly check your employees’ eligibility to work in the UK.

If you are concerned about the new rules around non-EU migrants and how they will affect your organisation, give us a call on 01708 758 958 and one of our experienced Consultants will be happy to speak with you.