London, March 1: For the first time, Britain is breaking the link between the number of years a migrant spends in the country and permanent settlement, by introducing a £35,000 annual salary threshold, a move that is likely to affect Indians.
Until now, permanent settlement was automatic: if a migrant spends five years in the UK in an immigration route that leads to settlement , and has not committed major criminal offences, permanent settlement was granted, irrespective of the salary level.
The new measure announced on Wednesday is scheduled to be introduced in April 2016, after which migrants will need to show evidence of earning at least £35,000 in annual salary before being granted permanent settlement.
Placing the £35,000 salary threshold will result in the number of Indian and other non-EU migrants granted permanent settlement dropping to 20,000 from 60,000 annually, the Home Office said.
Those who do not qualify will have to leave UK after 6 years.