Settling in Britain, be it as a worker, student, or entrepreneur, is becoming more difficult after a series of changes were introduced.
Immigration to the UK is possible through various tiers. Whereas entrepreneurs will find a route in Tier 1, skilled workers can apply through Tier 2 and students are directed to Tier 4.
Changes have been made to all these routes, and a decrease in the number of successful applicants has been the result. The total number of applications has been slashed by a third and has been reduced to a number that has not been seen since 1990, said the UK government.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is for foreign businessmen from outside the EU looking to invest in the UK. Applicants must in most cases show that they will be investing £200,000 into the business, but in a limited number of cases an investment of £50,000 may be acceptable.
In April, the British government added the presentation of a business plan to the requirements. In addition, applicants will now need to provide evidence of the source of funds.
According to the British government, these measures were implemented in a bid to curb misuse of the immigration programme and filter out genuine candidates.
Consequently, the current rejection rate for applications through this programme is about 70 per cent.
Under the Tier 2 programme, immigrants can apply for a position in the UK if the position cannot be filled by a settled worker.
However, from next year, this right will be reserved for high income workers, as a minimum income of £35,000 will be required.
Further, companies are under increased pressure to comply with the requirements of hiring a foreign worker as the government is actively carrying out inspection rounds.
Again, the measure aims to curb the total volume of migrant settlement.
International students who wish to pursue their education in the UK may apply through Tier 4.
Although this was previously a stepping stone to possible employment and indefinite leave to remain, students will now be forced to leave the country as soon as they have completed their studies.
From November this year, students under this tier can no longer switch visas when they find a job after completing their studies. Applying for other visas will have to be done from abroad, forcing graduates to leave the country first.
From the same date, Tier 4 college students will no longer be permitted to extend their visa after their course finishes, unless they begin studying at an institution with a ‘direct, formal link’ with a UK university.
Moreover, the time graduates may spend at a further education college has been reduced from 3 years to 2 years, while many further education courses run for more than two years.
The changes aim to halt foreign nationals who see studying as a motive to settle in the country, said the government.
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Immigration to Britain set to become tougher for all
Posted on September 28, 2015