In a scheduled speech, Green will unveil plans to ensure that only the “brightest and best” non-EU migrants are allowed to stay in Britain.

He will tell think tank Policy Exchange: “We will end the assumption settlement is an option for all.

“Instead, we will accord it to the brightest and best.”

Under today’s rules, skilled workers (such as nurses and chefs) can apply for permanent residency after five years in the UK on a work visa.

Around 60,000 people in skilled jobs win the right to permanent settlement every year; the Migration Advisory Committee said that implementing an income requirement of at least £35,000 would cut that figure to 20,000.

Green will add: “We need to know not just that the right numbers of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here.

“People who will benefit Britain, not just those who will benefit by Britain.” 

The Coalition government has pledged to cut net migration from 242,000 to “tens of thousands”.

Picture: Getty