In order to live and work in the United Kingdom as a skilled worker, people entering from outside the EU need to hold a Tier 2 visa. To qualify for the Tier 2 visa, it is vital that the applicant has been offered a job in the United Kingdom and that they can show that they have held a minimum of £945 in their bank account for the previous 90 days. This means that there is a finance aspect straight away, which may cause some people some difficulty.

There is also the fact that most jobs must be paying a minimum of £20,800. There is also talk that the Government is considering raising the minimum level to £30,000 although this hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.

It is important to note that some occupations do not have to comply with this threshold which means that some people will be accepted with a job which pays less than £20,000 while some people may be refused if the job pays £20,000. This is why there is a need for people to find out what roles are listed under exemptions and then determine if they can do that work or can have their role classed as that sort of position.

Healthcare surcharges are included in the requirements

There is also a need to obtain a certificate of sponsorship from the willing employer and this invokes a fee of anything between £536 and £1,476 depending on the nature of the visa. There is also a need for applicants to make a £200 payment each year as a healthcare surcharge and there is also a need for the applicant to show that they have a grasp of the English language.

People entering the UK from outside of the EU on a Tier 2 visa are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 6 years. However, up until very recently, skilled workers who have been living and working in the UK can apply for “indefinite leave to remain” in the United Kingdom but this has also changed recently.

Gaining leave to remain can be difficult

As of the 6th of April 2016, only workers who earn a minimum of £35,000 a year will be allowed to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” after they have been in the UK for 5 years. This is an issue that is likely to have the biggest aspect and it is one area that many people have cited as being the factor that will break up their family.

Figures provided at the start of 2016 suggest that the average annual wage in the United Kingdom stands at £26,500. This means the criteria for people to gain access to stay in the UK for an indefinite period will begin at close to £10,000 above the average wage.

Yes, there is an argument that people coming in to the UK from outside the EU should have specific skills and be able to do specialist roles, but this doesn’t always necessarily follow that they will receive a wage that is far in excess of the UK average. While the individual changes with respect to immigration law will impact on people, this is the area that seems to have the biggest level of impact across the country, and which many people are protesting about.

As you would expect in the modern era, there has been a lot of disquiet surrounding these changes online and there is a petition gathering momentum requesting a rethink on this requirement. If these changes remain in place, life in the United Kingdom will be moved beyond many people, and this may impact on people coming to the UK.

If people have a choice of countries to choose from, it is likely that they will want to move somewhere that they have a chance to settle down in. When people believe that they are building something for themselves and potentially a family, they will be far more inclined to put down roots. Of course, if the chance to put down roots is going to be removed from people at the end of a five year period, you may find that fewer people are willing to start the process.

Anyone that is looking for reliable and effective advice with respect to UK immigration law in 2016 will find that hiring a specialist immigration solicitor will have a big impact on their knowledge levels.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

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