The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has advised the UK government that minimum annual pay is the best way to select which highly skilled migrant workers should be eligible for settlement.
The MAC was commissioned by the government in June to identify the most suitable economic criteria for determining which Tier 2 migrant workers could settle permanently in the UK and what the economic effects of restricting or removing settlement rights would be.
The MAC has inter alia made the following recommendations:
- a simple pay threshold be used to decide eligibility for automatic settlement among Tier 2 (general) migrants;
- migrants entering through the Tier 1 (exceptional talent) route to proceed to settlement after 5 years subject to continuing to meet the criteria for that route;
- a pay threshold between £31,000 and £49,000 for Tier 2 (general), set at the time of entry and adjusted for inflation or changes to average pay, would be economically defensible; and
- sportspeople should also be subject to the same pay criteria as other migrants under Tier 2 (general).
The Chairman of the MAC, Professor David Metcalf CBE said that imposing greater controls on settlement may mean that the annual limit on entry into Tier 1 and Tier 2 would not need to be reduced as much as it would otherwise to meet the government's objective of reduced net migration.'
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