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Settlement in UK to be linked to a minimum salary of £31,000 says Immigration Minister | Immigration Matters

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The UK is set introduce a minimum earnings figure of £31,000 in order to qualify for permanent settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain, the Immigration Minister announced today.

  • Further changes to family migration
  • Reforms to settlement and greater selectivity
  • Breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration
  • Completing changes to eliminate abuse of the student visa route
  • review of the annual limit on skilled economic Tier 2 migrants
  • Contribution-based system rather than points-based

As expected, the UK Border Agency has confirmed earlier rumours published by Immigration Matters on reforming the route to settlement with the creation of a ‘sustainable selective immigration system that encourages the brightest and best to come to the UK’.

At a speech at the Policy Exchange, the Immigration Minister Damian Green expressed a desire to ‘raise the tone of the immigration debate’ and start building a national consensus on how immigration can be made to work for Britain.

He will be pressing on with sweeping reforms that impose restrictions on those migrants the country does not need, while developing a greater selectivity to attract those migrants the country wants.

Damian Green said:

‘We need to know not just that the right number of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here. People that will benefit Britain – not just those who will benefit by Britain.

‘We have laid the foundations for a sustainable system where we get numbers down and keep them down. Now we shall make it work for Britain.’

The government has committed to reduce net migration numbers from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. In the latest published quarterly figures, compared to a year previously, there are early signs of a positive impact on numbers following restrictions imposed by this government on non-EEA workers and students.

The government will soon be announcing further changes to family migration and reforms to settlement, breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration or UK naturalisation and citizenship. It will also be completing its changes to eliminate abuse of the student visa route and is currently reviewing the annual limit on skilled economic migrants.

In his speech the Minister expressed his intention that the long-term transformation of British immigration policy will introduce greater selectivity.

He added that the ‘points based system’ of the past should ultimately be replaced by a ‘contribution-based system’ where migrants are checked to ensure they will add to quality of life in the UK.

This is already starting with the development of more selective routes for entrepreneurs, investors and those with exceptional talent alongside existing routes for entertainers, trainees and researchers.

The Minister confirmed the introduction of a new route for international graduate entrepreneurs – international students who have engaged in innovative entrepreneurial activity during their studies and want to stay on afterwards to develop their business ideas.

The government will also improve the system for some short-term business visitors and entertainers to ensure world-class performers are encouraged to come to the UK. Source: UK Border Agency.

In an earlier interview with BBC Radio Kent Mr Green said he wanted ‘to be much more intelligently selective about who we let come here”.

He added:

‘Anyone individual seeking permanent settlement should be able to command a salary of between £31,000 and £49,000.’

Mr Green also told the BBC that he was proposing to set a minimum income level for any sponsor seeking to bring in a foreign spouse – and said the recommended level from MAC (Migration Advisory Committee) was between £18,600 and £25,700.

The news will come as a bitter blow to the thousands of skilled workers on Work Permits and Tier 2 Working Visas who were expecting to one day qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), although the Minister has not announced any transitional arrangements for those already here.

If applied to existing migrants, the minimum threshold would affect nurses, senior carers, chefs, care managers and many other occupations where the basic pay rate is less than £31,000.

See also:

How will the new ‘minimum salary for residency’ proposals affect you?

Britain will limit settlement to ‘brightest and best’ migrants under new plans

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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17 Responses to “Settlement in UK to be linked to a minimum salary of £31,000 says Immigration Minister”
Read them below or add one

  1. Luzviminda Lagman says :

    Will you please explain further about this said “permanent settlement” application of whom must be at least £31000 and £49000 per annum salary. Do you mean “permanent settlement” is “British citizenship” application of a person who has been granted an “indefinite leave to remain” and will be elligible to apply after a year for a British citizenship?

  2. Mrs Jones says :

    Well what will think of next. I am british and think its about time they close the doors into the Uk and value the workers they already have and get the benefit Brits back into work and to take pride in there Country. We are bringing foreign people into the Uk to do jobs that British people wont do!!! British people should not have the choice of work or benefits it should be work or nothing!!! You see highly qualified migrant works performing jobs they are over qualified to do and being underpaid the whole system is wrong. We need British people off benefits and working paying into the British economy and putting the word Great back into Great Britian. Skilled Migrant workers should have the chance to do the job they trained to do and earn a decent wage. If we keep allowing unskilled workers into the UK to be poorly treated and underpaid while allowing able bodied Brits to claim benefit then shame on this Country. Close the doors, take stock, make brutal decisions and treat people fairly.

  3. loredanaancutei says :

    and as from when? pls replay
    thank you.

  4. UNKNOWN says :


  5. […] Earlier this month the Immigration Minister also announced the introduction of a minimum earnings figure of £31,000 in order to qualify for permanent settlement or Indefinite Leave…. […]

  6. […] Settlement in UK to be linked to a minimum salary of £31,000 says Immigration Minister […]

  7. Hi I want to know is this rule affect minister of religion Tier 2 visa also or not? please send me reply ASAP.

  8. […] Earlier this month the Immigration Minister announced the introduction of a minimum earnings figure of £31,000 in order to qualify for permanent settlement or Indefinite Leave…. […]

  9. I would like to know that does the minister mentioned anything about 10 years long stay route. Is this cotegory going to be affected?

  10. Tata Buma-at says :

    A very painful blow to a lot of migrant workers like me working so hard. The government is treating us rubbish thrown anytime when not needed, after all they have used our skills. But look…they are careful not to violate the right of an assylum seeker or an illegal immigrant who never contributed to HM Revenue but instead milk the system with all the support they get. UNFAIR! we work hard. Treat us with kindness by making the law not retroactive but it seems the government wants expulsion, exodus of migrant workers which to me an outright rejection. We have contributed our talent, skills, profession, we went through a rigorous process, we made sacrifice to leave children and family in the hope we will reunite here one day with our patience,diligence and endurance as we look to that five years of stay. It is not our fault if the population of England has soar high, we are just a minority. Bear in mind UK is a member of European Union which means welcoming everyone from EU member country totalling 27 countries in all. Most likely they can milk the system as they are entitled to some extent of benefits. According to my reading, criminals, thugs, benefit fraudster are people coming from the Eastern block. We come to the UK to work and we have contributed much, we respect the fact that we are not entitled to any government support as seen on our passports, why penalise us? You have failed to deport thousands of foreign criminals in various jails costing tax payers money including us and yet you turn your ire on migrant workers to quickly depopulace England, WHY? to make known this government is better than the previous? This is all down to politics.

    Politicians remember this… when your country was in dire need/desperate for workers, you turn to third world countries like Philippines. Now you are making laws to expel us because England is flooded with foreigners.

    Bankers received fat bonuses because they reckon they perform well. For us ILR/Citizenship is the crowning glory of our hard work. Please do not deprive us. We have integrated well in this country after years of hard work away from home and family. We do not have someone to support our cause. The Gurkahs are blessed to have the like of Ms Joanna Lumley.


    I am just 3 months away to my 5 years.

  11. See the UKBA site for requirements. The rules have not changed yet.

  12. I hope to sponsor my 2 kids and wife to settle here. How do I need to show in my bank, how loang and minimum wages . Please let me know.thanks. Neil

  13. This is totally rubish! They should be the one to give us work that will give us a salary of £31000 a year! We are the one giving more income to this country and some british people just waiting and receiving benefits without any work. What a shame!!!!

  14. Anonymous says :

    If this means anyone who can show £31,000 pounds of income and qualify for settlement then I am very sorry to say that, Britain has to get ready to see flood of migrants many of whom £31,000 – £49,000.00 salary is not a bad deal and in various ways they can manage to get this done.

    Forgive me if I am getting this wrong. But £31,000 is the cheapest price for the definition of best and the bright, they fetch far more than this.

  15. […] yesterday’s announcement by the UK Immigration Minister, Damian Green, that under new proposals migrants seeking permanent settlement, or Indefinite Leave to Remain, will be required to earn betwe…, Immigration Matters has been inundated with questions from worried work permit holders such as […]

  16. Hello there,

    I’m currently on Tier 1 (initial 2 years on HSMP). Does anyone know whether the minimum earnings requirement needs to be met for every year of the stay or only the 12 consecutive months in the 15 months prior applying for the ILR?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  17. […] UK is set introduce a minimum earnings figure of £31,000 in order to qualify for permanent settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain, the Immigration Minister announced […]

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