Britain’s new visa rules brought great disappointment for those Aussies eyeing to settle down in the country for the long-term. According to the changes, which will take effect in April, low-income Australians working in the UK will not be allowed to stay there indefinitely.
If any Australian wants to stay in Britain for more than six years, s/he has to earn a minimum of £35,000 ($72,000) annually to qualify for the settlement. This rule will be applicable for all non-European workers who have come from outside the European Economic Zone.
It will be the first time for the British government to impose an economic threshold on the right to settlement in the UK.
The change was first initiated in 2012 when the Cameron government tried to control the number of annual granted settlement to the non-Europeans and their dependants. Their target was to reduce the number from 60,000 to 20,000 per year.
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BBC published a report in 2012 that shows that that number of granted settlement to migrant workers and their dependants increased to 84,000 in 2010 while it was less than 10,000 in 1997.
According to immigration statistics from October – December 2014, along with Americans and Indians, Aussies are one of the top nationalists granted British work visas.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia has already made an appeal to the British government regarding the upcoming changes to the migration system. A spokeswoman for the department said that they had clearly indicated in their submission that imposing more restrictions on the Tier 2 visa would negatively affect the commercial and economic interests of both the countries.
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A petition against the new changes has been lodged with the British Parliament. It has already garnered more than 75,000 signatures while the issue will be considered for a parliament debate if it gets 100,000 signatures.