Foreign Teachers’ Face Removal from the UK In April – Teresa May Urged To Rethink £35,000 Threshold
With changes to take effect in April 2016, foreign-born teachers and other talented workers face removal if they fail to meet the minimum earning threshold of £35,000 per year set by the Home Office.
The Home Secretary, Teresa May, who championed the minimum earnings threshold has been urged to reconsider her position for fear of Britain being unable to retain its position as a leader in certain markets, due to chronic skill and experience shortages.
No Right to Settlement
Foreign-born nationals who earn less than £35,000 per annum will be denied settlement in the UK and can be removed by the Home Office.
Last year, the Government exempted nurses from the new rules; however, this is just a temporary move, and they could be subjected to the earnings threshold further down the line if nursing is removed from the Shortage Occupations list.
Warnings to the Home Office
Former Cabinet Minister Alistair Carmichael, who was David Cameron's Scottish Secretary before the election, told The Independent newspaper that discriminating on the basis of income would harm the UK’s place at the “forefront of the global economy”, while Shadow Immigration Minister, Keir Starmer said there were “real concerns” regarding how key industries would be affected.
The Home Office’s own assessment of the policy in 2012 admitted that the higher threshold would have a significant impact on teachers, nurses, marketing managers and IT professionals.
Mr Carmichael told The Independent: “Britain must remain open for business – we should be looking to attract the best and brightest not turn them away.
"Discrimination based on income fails to take the economic reality of new sectors like tech start-ups into account. In these industries, staff might be paid less than £35,000, but are essential to keeping the UK at the forefront of the global economy.”
Motivation Behind the Policy
The Conservative Government is proving relentless in its drive to reduce Immigration. By creating this threshold, which is far above the national average wage of £22,000, fewer migrants will be able to settle permanently in the UK.
By contrast, the recent rise in some Immigration fees has not affected business migration at all. One cannot help wonder at Teresa May’s guile; on one hand she has kept it relatively low –cost for businesses to recruit foreign nationals to fill jobs stated on the Shortage Occupation list, but she has made certain that many of them will be unable to settle in the country after their visa expires.
Is this because it is assumed their usefullness has expired? It is almost although the Government is now saying, “Yes, we are happy to expliot migrants’ talent and innovation for a short period of time, but we do not want you making your home in the UK.”
What do you think?
OTS Solicitors is an Immigration, Employment and litigation firm. Our founding partner, Teni Shahiean, has been ranked in the Legal 500 and is recognised throughout the UK as an expert in employment law. To speak to one of our Solicitors, please contact our London office on 0207 936 9960 to make an appointment