UK Government expected to reform Settlement route later this year

At the moment skilled and highly skilled economic migrants on Tier 1 General (HSMP) and Tier 2 General (UK Work Permit) visas can apply for Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK after spending five full years in the country without a break of any more than 90 days in any one year. The route to settlement has made the UK and attractive place for highly skilled professionals to migrate to and since the mid 1990s the number of Settlement grants has increased more than four times; from 58,725 in 1997 to 237,890 in 2010.

Research from The Migration Observatory shows that:

  • In 2010, there were 237,890 grants of Settlement to non-European migrants, 22% more than the previous peak in 2009
  • Settlements between 2005 – 2009 averaged 156,425 per annum, increasing from 125,945 per annum in the previous five-year period and 68,570 per annum from 1995 – 1999
  • In 2009:
    • 68% of settlements were granted on the basis of family relationships
    • 18% of settlements were granted on the basis of work & UK residency
    • 1% of settlements were granted on the basis of asylum
    • 13% of settlements were granted on the basis of “other discretionary” reasons, of which some are linked to a backlog of asylum cases
  • In 2009 the most common countries of citizenship were:
    • India with 12% of all settlement applications, AND
    • Pakistan with 7% of all settlement applications
  • Most settlements on the basis of marriage are granted to spouses of British citizens

The Government is expected to not only ‘break the link between temporary immigration and settlement’ but also improve integration within migrant communities. Under the old Labour Government plans had been put in place for an ‘Earned Citizenship’ system which would see individuals undertake community service to speed up their route to an Indefinite Leave to Remain Application.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.