Settlement consultation closes on 9 September

The UK Border Agency's (UKBA) public consultation on the routes to settlement closes this week on 9 September.

The consultation affects routes that lead to settlement, Tier 5 and overseas domestic worker categories. In the consultation, the UKBA have proposed that they will break the links between temporary and permanent migration by making some visa categories ineligible for applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

The key proposals made in the consultation document are as follows:

  • re-classifying Tier 2 (the skilled worker route) as temporary, meaning people on this visa can no longer go on to apply for ILR from this category
  • allowing certain Tier 2 migrants, such as those earning over £150,000 or working in occupations of a specific economic or social value to the UK, to retain an automatic route to settlement
  • creating a new category into which, after three years in the UK, the most exceptional Tier 2 migrants may switch and go on to apply for settlement
  • limiting the amount of time that Tier 2 migrants who do not switch into a settlement route can stay in the UK to a maximum of five years. At the end of these five years migrants, and any dependants, would be expected to leave the UK
  • introducing an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route which allows an application for settlement
  • restricting the maximum period of leave for Tier 5 temporary workers to 12 months
  • closing or reforming routes for overseas domestic workers.

To date the UKBA have received nearly 10,000 responses on the proposals. If you wand to respond to the proposed changes then you can do so before Friday 9 September 2011 through the Consultations page of the UKBA website.

Family migration consultation

The UKBA are also running a consultation on family migration. This consultation is intended to focus on ‘preventing and tackling abuse, promoting integration and reducing burdens on the taxpayer’.

The consultation paper concentrates on the family route: non-European nationals entering, remaining in or settling in the UK on the basis of a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here. This includes fiance(e)s, proposed civil partners, spouses, civil partners, or unmarried or same-sex partners, dependent children and adult and elderly dependent relatives.

But the paper also looks more widely at all forms of family migration, including the family members of workers and students under the points-based system, refugee family reunion, and family visitors.

You can respond to this consultation before 6 October 2011 on the Family migration page of the UKBA website.

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