The year 2016 was a busy year for UK Immigration, with events like the vote for Brexit that caused a lot of concern for immigrants in the UK.
There were also some other major immigration changes, such as the new minimum pay threshold that impacted significantly on the lives of many immigrants.
Unfortunately, with significant immigration changes, there are often rumours going around that confuse people even further. We have subsequently answered some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our advisors in 2016, that will provide you with the correct facts.
I am an EU citizen living and working in the UK, and very concerned about how Brexit will affect my ability to stay in the UK. Do you have any guidelines on the issue?
At this stage, there is no definite answer on when Article 50 will be triggered to start the formal process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The UK will, however, remain a member of the EU throughout this process, and until Article 50 negotiations are concluded.
There are some indications that EU nationals currently living in the UK will be able to continue to do so, after Brexit. This is however not confirmed.
For now, Breytenbachs recommend that EU citizens who can apply for UK Permanent Residence do so, for their peace of mind, and as a possible safeguard against having to leave the United Kingdom upon Brexit becoming a reality. Please speak to your BIC advisor for the rules on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as an EU National.
Minimum Pay Threshold
I am in the UK on an Ancestry Visa. How will the minimum pay threshold affect me when I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
One of the biggest misconceptions about the minimum pay threshold is about who is affected by it.
In this regard, it is important to note that the minimum pay threshold is only applicable to Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrants who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. There are many persons on other migration routes that still incorrectly fear that this will affect them, but persons in other immigration categories do not need to worry. The pay threshold only applies to Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa holders. It will NOT affect applicants for ILR in any of the other immigration categories.
All Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Sportspersons) who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, have to earn at least £35,000 when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If they are not able to prove that they are earning this minimum pay threshold, they have to leave the UK, unless they can find an alternative route to remain in the country. This came into effect on 6 April 2016.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to the minimum pay threshold including;
- Tier 2 migrants whose occupations are skilled to Ph.D. level,
- Tier 2 migrants whose occupations are on the Shortage Occupation List,
- Under certain circumstances, Tier 2 migrants who were sponsored as Tier 2 General migrants and their occupation was listed on the Shortage Occupation List.
Please speak to your BIC advisor for further details on other exceptions.
Right to Rent
I have recently arrived in the UK and have been informed by a letting agent that they have to check my right to rent in the UK. Please, can you tell me more about this?
Since 1 February 2016, all new tenants have to prove that they have a right to rent a property in England. Should a person not be able to provide the acceptable documents, he/she will not be able to rent property in England.
A landlord, householder or agent who does not follow the correct right to rent checks and is found to have let the property to a person who does not have the right to rent, will become liable to pay a civil penalty.
The UK Government introduced these new rules to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants and overstayers to stay in the UK.
Keeping up with all the changes to UK Immigration law can be daunting. Arrange a consultation with Breytenbachs and allow us to ease this burden. We offer a professional, friendly and exemplary service that will put your mind at ease and ensure that the application process is smooth and efficient.
www.bic-immigration.com or [email protected]