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Skilled workers from outside the EU are set to be prevented from settling in the UK under proposals put out for consultation by the government today.In proposals that he said were aimed at “breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration” immigration minister Damian Green revealed plans to re-classify Tier 2 visas as ‘temporary’ with the assumption that migrants will leave after five years. Only ‘exceptional’ migrants, defined as those earning over £150,000 or those of special economic value to the UK, will be able to go on to apply for settlement.“Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay - this needs to change,” said Green. “The immigration system has got to be made to work properly. We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home. A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK.”Other proposals in the consultation include introducing an English language requirement for adult dependents of migrant workers who want to settle, closing the entry route for overseas domestic workers such as au pairs, and restricting the maximum stay for Tier 5 temporary workers to one year. The current move follows reforms already implemented which have introduced an annual cap on the number of visas available under Tier 2.The government has said it wants to reduce net immigration to sustainable levels, defined as ‘tens of thousands’ rather than hundreds of thousands, by the end of this parliament. Workers settling under Tier 2 make a significant contribution to net migration; in 2010, 84,000 people who entered the UK under a work visa were granted settlement, compared to less than 10,000 who did the same in 1997.But Adam Marshall of the British Chambers of Commerce warned that the policy could be disruptive for businesses. "Britain's migration system must protect our economy as well as our borders. Turfing out valuable migrant workers who are turned down for settlement would be incredibly disruptive to companies of all sizes and to the UK's economic recovery.”The consultation will last 12 weeks.