100 signatures reached
To: Home office
Lower the salary threshold from 35K to 28K for non-EU citizens on Tier 2 (work) visa
Please consider lowering the salary threshold from 35K to 28K for Tier 2 general visa holder when they are eligible to apply for permanent settlement after living in the UK for 5 years on Tier 2 visa.
Why is this important?
People like me were invited to the UK in 2009 to study for a MSc Physiotherapy well before the 35K salary threshold came into existence in 2016.
The immigration rule at the time stated we were given 2 years’ visa (PSW) to find a permanent job and if we were able to find a permanent job, we were eligible for indefinite leave to remain if we completed 5 years in our permanent job and our employer still needed us.
However, because of this new law, only those people who are earning more than £35,000 on a single contracted salary will be eligible to apply for leave to remain.
This law will only discourage people to work for the public-sector organisations such as the NHS where achieving 35K salary within the first 5 years of employment is nearly impossible unless the employee is working in London. People like me who are working 7 days a week and earning well above 35K over the past 2 years with overtime will have to leave their permanent senior physiotherapist NHS job and move to the private sector to fulfil this salary threshold. After the Royal College of Nursing highlighted the impact of this law on the nurses staffing level the Home Office have exempted all nurses from this law however, other important professions such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, many doctors, IT professionals and many engineers are not exempted. We do respect the government’s idea of training UK citizens but they must understand that training them takes time and needs senior staff to train them. Due to our job role, we now provide clinical education to university students and juniors. Also, moving trained people like us from Birmingham to London/private sector will have no impact on immigration however it will only cost money to the NHS to employ more locum staff.
The Charted Society of Physiotherapy argues that 500 additional physiotherapists
are needed UK-wide each year up to 2020 to meet the demand, with services already facing supply shortages. In the year 2015, Health Education England, a government body, cut the number of physiotherapy training places in England alone by 6.2 per cent, 95 fewer places than the previous year. There were just 1448 NHS-funded training places for the 2016/17 intake.
Also due to NHS bursaries cuts and 14% pay cuts to the NHS employees in real terms, less people will be inclined towards health professional courses hence it will be a wise decision to bring the threshold to 28K (average UK salary) so that the Tier 2 visa holders who are already working will be able to continue their work in the UK.
We started a petition earlier on this issue #anand35k which gained lot of popularity and 13,346 signatures but due to the general election, our deadline was brought forward by 9 weeks and we had to stop our campaign.
I have had various BBC radio, news agencies interview but my most popular one was the BBC Midlands interview which had 338K views in 1 week on their Facebook page. https://youtu.be/w8BYaeKMEEA
I personally feel that this law is disrespecting the service we have provided by working 7 days a week, paying our taxes, national insurance, NHS surcharge (only paid by non-EU nationals) and I have never claimed any benefit.
I hope we win this time otherwise the NHS and many big companies will be losing experienced trained staff. It will not do justice to the employers who have spent so much money on our training and it will be an injustice to the people who have made their home in the city they are living in.