A new petition is urging the UK Government to scrap the rule requiring migrant workers to earn at least £35,000 to qualify for settlement in the UK.
The new rule will enter into force in April 2016.
In 2012, the Home Secretary Theresa May said the change would help cut the number of non-Europeans and their dependants granted settlement each year from 60,000 to 20,000.
The pay threshold will apply to people wanting to remain permanently after more than five years working in the UK. Those who don't qualify will be ordered to leave the UK after six years.
The petition says that the rule being introduced by the Home Office “only affects non-EU citizens that earn under £35,000 a year, which unfairly discriminates against charity workers, nurses, students and others.
“This ridiculous measure is only going to affect 40,000 people who have already been living and working in the UK for 5 years, contributing to our culture and economy. It will drive more workers from the NHS and people from their families. This empty gesture will barely affect the immigration statistics. It's a waste of time, money and lives.”
The petition points out that it is the first time the UK will be discriminating against low-earners. “£35k is an unreasonably high threshold. The UK will lose thousands of skilled workers,” says the petition.
“I have signed this petition because it might affect a hard working mum or dad,” says Muzvare-Princess Betty Makoni, Founder of the Girl Child Network Worldwide (GCNW). “It is hard to deport someone after they settled in a country. I signed this petition because I know how hard it is for hard working immigrants. Please even if you have papers like me, be kind to others. Be their voice. If you don't speak out things get worse. Please share with your networks too. It took me one minute to sign.”
Click here to sign the petition