UK to close under-used retirement immigration scheme

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As one of several changes to UK immigration policy, the immigration route for retired persons of independent means will close to new applicants on the 27th of November this year.

The immigration scheme, described as "little used" by UK immigration minister Phil Woolas, allowed people over 60 years of age and having income of at least £25,000 a year to obtain residence in the UK and eventual British citizenship.

According to the UK Border Agency, less than 20 applications were received each year under this category. The Agency also stated that the limited take-up of the program and the fact that these applicants could place future demands on public services had caused them to give the scheme the axe.

Other changes occurring on the same day include the introduction of Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the new five-tier points based immigration system and the raising of the age requirement for marriage visas from 18 to 21.

Anyone wishing to take advantage of the retired persons scheme, prior to the application cut-off date of 27 November 2008, should fill out an assessment form here and an expert consultant will contact you promptly.