Immigration Rules and Civil Liberties - Uncomfortable Bedfellows

The government is continuing to roll-out its policy of breaking the link between migrants coming to work in the country then settling here. Two important new bricks were cemented into the wall on 6 April:

  • The academic qualifications for migrants under Tier 2 were raised so the bar is now set at National Qualification Level 6. This is roughly equivalent to a Bachelor Degree.
  • Migrants under Tier 2 will be limited to a stay of 6 years in two spells of 3 years each, which run consecutively.  At the end of 6 years there will be what the Government coyly calls a "cooling-off period” of 12 months.  During this time, the blushing migrant will be required to leave the country and he/she will not be permitted to come back for a year.

These changes are entirely consistent with recent trends and should not come as a surprise to anyone who deals with this area of employment.