Immigration alert: MAC publish recommendations on settlement criteria for Tier 1 exceptional talent and Tier 2

7 November 2011

The Immigration Minister commissioned the MAC to call for evidence and make recommendations with regard to introducing selective settlement requirements in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Tier 2 General categories. The MAC consulted widely with employers and interested parties and published its findings and recommendations on 4 November.

Employers responded with a request that no restrictions be placed on Tier 2 General migrants, particularly given the recent restrictions already imposed on entry in this category. There was an overwhelming desire for simplicity and symmetry with any new measures to be introduced. Those consulted were also concerned about the potential effect on competitiveness and the ability to attract suitable talent to the UK labour market.

However, in order to achieve the Government's stated aim of reducing immigration the MAC has published the following recommendations:-

  • Implementing a minimum annual pay threshold of between £31,000 and £49,000 to qualify for settlement in the Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Sportspersons categories;
  • Allow a mechanism whereby the Government can introduce exceptions for some public sector jobs and roles in the technology sector which will contribute to future economic growth;
  • Does not recommend regional variations in setting the minimum threshold;
  • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrants should be permitted to settle with no restrictions imposed;
  • No recommendations for Tier 2 Ministers of Religion; and
  • Minimum pay threshold for remaining in the UK beyond 5 years should be set at the time the migrant enters the UK.

Full details of the published findings can be found at:

We understand the UK Border Agency will publish its report on selective settlement criteria in early December when further details will follow.

For more information, please contact: Nicolas Rollason, Head of Immigration

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