A skilled worker visa allows a person to come to the UK and work for an employer. The visa also allows a skilled worker to bring their dependents to the UK with them.


A skilled worker visa can be issued for up to 5 years. After 5 years of holding a skilled worker visa, it is possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain which means that you can permanently stay in the UK without restrictions.


The Daily Mail has reported that the Home Office may be considering introducing changes to the settlement route. They have reported that the Home Office are considering changing the requirement by extending the criteria for continued residence from 5 years to 8 years before being granted indefinite leave to remain.


The Daily Mail reports that the reasons for this is to bring the UK’s settlement requirements closer to other countries.


Other purported changes include ensuring applicants applying for indefinite leave to remain must be conviction-free for 10 years, removing the exemption of over 65’s taking a Life in the UK test, and providing an English language qualification at the B1 level.


Our comments


The above has not been reported by the Home Office and therefore we believe it is a speculative article by the Daily Mail. If the Home Office were to introduce such changes, we believe it would undoubtedly lead to the UK being unattractive to many who wish to pursue a career abroad. At a time when the UK is teetering on the brink of recession, it is not in the interest of the UK government to add such restrictive measures to the skilled worker visa.


Presently, the 5-year settlement route is an attractive option for people coming from overseas. Any changes may lead to a sharp decline in applicants should the Home Office introduce such measures.


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