Insights

Do the Immigration Rules create further imbalance between the North and the South of the UK

8/03/2016

It is generally accepted that there is a significant economic imbalance between the South and the North of the UK. Economic pull factors such as salaries and available skills often dictate where talent will travel as well as where businesses will estbalish themselves. 

Considering the fact that the Tier 2 (General) category is ultimately tailored to allow businesses to fill skill gaps in the market, one must ask whether the Immigration Rules are part of the imbalance that exists in the UK. Migrants will now be required to demonstrate that they will receive an annual salary of at least £35,000 in order to achieve settlement so, naturally, overseas talent will gravitate to economic centres where higher salaries are easier to achieve (i.e. London). 

Perhaps the criticism made by MP's in response to this salary threshold (i.e. that it is "simplistic" and "crude") is not entirely without merit.

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Monday’s debate was the first time MPs were able to analyse the £35,000 threshold for non-EU workers, which was pushed through without a Commons vote in 2012. It is due to come into effect next month and will mean overseas workers who have lived in the UK for five years must prove they will be paid the new minimum threshold of £35,000 in order to stay in the country. Other concerns raised in the debate included fears the threshold did not take into account varying wage levels across the UK, with Ms Oswald pointing out those working in London were often paid higher salaries than those in other parts of the country.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-s-new-immigration-rules-labelled-ludicrous-and-simplistic-in-key-debate-a6917766.html