The UK government has announced plans to raise the minimum salary requirement for family visas in a phased approach, aiming to provide predictability for immigrant families. The adjustments follow the recent 47% increase in the minimum salary for skilled work visas, reaching £38,700.
Originally set at £29,000, the minimum salary for family visas will incrementally rise from the current £18,600, eventually reaching the targeted £38,700. While the timeline for this adjustment hasn’t been specified beyond spring, the government aims to align the family visa threshold with that of skilled work visas.
As part of the changes, child allowances will no longer be factored into income requirements, ensuring that British nationals and migrants are treated consistently, with a flat-rate threshold for sponsored children.
Home Secretary James Cleverly stated that the overall plan is expected to reduce net migration by an estimated 300,000 people compared to the previous year. The government has also introduced updates to the list of occupations in short supply and measures to ensure immigrants can adequately support their family members.
The broader immigration strategy includes tightened regulations for students and a 66% increase in the health surcharge for foreigners utilizing the National Health Service. These measures align with the government’s commitment to addressing record levels of migration and reducing net migration to the UK.
The adjustments in immigration policies, including family visa salary requirements, are likely to be a significant topic in the upcoming general election, anticipated to take place next year. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to decrease new arrivals, responding to the high net migration observed in 2022.
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