The stringent new immigration regulations are anticipated to slash the annual influx of individuals moving to the United Kingdom by hundreds of thousands.
Facing pressure from Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs), Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government announced a comprehensive set of measures on Monday aimed at significantly reducing immigration levels. The UK Home Office stated that approximately 300,000 individuals would no longer meet the criteria for entry into the UK under these new measures, which involve increasing the minimum salary requirement for skilled job migrants by one-third.
Sunak expressed his determination to lower the net migration rate, stating in a social media post, “We have just unveiled the most substantial reduction in net migration ever seen. No previous Prime Minister has achieved this historic feat.”
Here are the key measures unveiled by the government led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak :
Dependent Restrictions : As part of the migration reduction strategy, the government intends to curtail the influx of a significant number of dependents entering the UK.
Salary Threshold Increases : Substantial increases in minimum salaries are on the horizon for both overseas workers and British or settled individuals sponsoring family members. The earning threshold for overseas workers is set to rise by nearly 50%, escalating from £26,200 to £38,700, with a parallel increase applicable to British citizens sponsoring family members.
Tightening of Health and Care Visa : Significant restrictions are forthcoming for the Health and Care visa, which has historically been an important pathway for care workers and their dependents. Overseas care workers will no longer have the option to bring their dependents to the UK, and care providers will be limited to sponsoring migrant workers engaged in activities regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Crackdown on Discounted Labor : The government is set to abolish the 20% salary reduction for shortage occupations and will implement an Immigration Salary List. This list will be subject to periodic review by the Migration Advisory Committee to harmonize with the heightened salary thresholds.
Student Dependent Restrictions : Existing measures have been implemented to address the increase in students bringing their dependents to the UK. These changes are anticipated to have a substantial impact on net migration, as around 153,000 visas were issued to dependents of sponsored students in the year ending September 2023.
The government contends that these measures collectively strengthen the principle that individuals desiring to reside and work in the UK must be financially self-reliant, make positive economic contributions, and avoid becoming reliant on public welfare.
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s spokesperson on home affairs, accused the Conservative party of reacting with a sense of disarray and alarm regarding immigration.
She stated in parliament, “Today’s announcement is an acknowledgment of the years of comprehensive shortcomings by this Conservative government.”
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