The ultimate plan for most Tier 2 visa holders is to conclude their UK immigration route with British Citizenship. However, for many Tier 2 visa holders the term ‘Minimum Pay Threshold’ brings panic, as they believe it might cause the end of their British Citizenship dream.
What is the Minimum Pay Threshold?
Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa holders have to fulfil a minimum pay threshold when they apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
The vast majority of visa holders in these two visa categories who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain thus have to proof that they are earning this minimum pay threshold. If they are not able to do so and none of the exemptions from the pay thresholds apply, their application for ILR will be refused.
Schedule for the Minimum Pay Threshold
£35,000 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2016.
£35,500 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2018.
£35,800 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2019.
£36,200 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2020.
£36,900 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2021.
£37,900 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2022.
Do other immigration categories also have to satisfy the Minimum Pay Threshold when they apply for ILR?
No. Many visa holders incorrectly fear that they are also subject to the Minimum Pay Threshold requirement when they apply for ILR.
Please note that it is only applicable to Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa holders applying for ILR.
Are Tier 2 visa holders whose jobs are on the Shortage Occupation List also subject to the Minimum Pay Threshold?
Fortunately, Tier 2 migrants whose occupations are on the Shortage Occupation List are exempt from the Minimum Pay Threshold. However, they still need to be paid the appropriate rate for their occupation.
Tier 2 visa holders whose occupations are at PhD level and Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion) are also exempted from having to meet the Minimum Pay Threshold. However, they do need to be paid at an appropriate rate for the occupation.
What can be included in the basic salary package to meet the Minimum Pay Threshold?
The total salary package under Tier 2 required to meet the applicable minimum salary threshold can only comprise of guaranteed earnings.
The guaranteed earnings can include the basic salary and any guaranteed allowances. The guaranteed allowances may include London weighting or guaranteed bonuses which will be paid for the duration of the migrant’s sponsored Tier 2 employment.
What happens if I am not able to fulfil the Minimum Pay Threshold requirement?
If you are not able to fulfil the Minimum Pay Threshold requirement your ILR application will be refused. If you cannot extend your Tier 2 visa further, then you will then either have to leave the UK, or find an alternative immigration route to stay in the UK.
There are many potential pitfalls in the ILR application process, following a Tier 2 Visa. Take the stress out of your application, and appoint one of Breytenbachs’ expert consultants to handle it on your behalf. Contact our Tier 2 department at [email protected]. You are also welcome to read more about the Tier 2 Skilled Worker immigration category here.
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