- The UK government has raised the minimum income to qualify for a family visa to £38700.
- The annual immigration health charge has also been raised by 66% from the current £624 to £1035 and health care workers will not be allowed to bring in dependants.
In a bid to cut down on immigration, the British government is set to introduce a raft of measures that will make it harder for foreigners to relocate.
In early December, James Cleverly, the Secretary of State for the Home Department told the House of Commons that the net migration to the UK had risen to 745000 in 2022. Now, beginning Spring (March 2024) the government will enforce measures aimed at cutting down the number of immigrants.
In this article, WoK highlights some of the measures.
£38700 annual salary threshold
To begin with, skilled workers will need to have a job offer with a salary of at least £38700 prior to securing their visas. This is a rise from the current minimum of £26200. This means that most foreigners will mostly secure employment opportunities for jobs that require high levels of expertise and or high education qualifications.
However, this salary threshold will not apply to some jobs such as nurses and other health and social care workers. Currently a band 5 nurse working for the NHS earns approximately £28000 annually.
Health care workers will not bring in their dependants
Through his address, James Cleverly insisted that there was an abuse to the health care visa and the new measures will put a halt to foreigners bringing in their dependants. He said that in the year ending September 2023, up to 120000 dependants settled in UK through the visas of 100000 care workers. Apparently, only 25% of the dependants had secured employment opportunities.
Increase of annual health charge
Additionally, the annual immigration health charge paid to the National Health Services (NHS) will be increased from the current £624 to £1035.
Review of graduate visa route
The government’s migration adviser is also set to review the graduate visa route to “prevent abuse”.
Review of Shortage Occupational List
Various jobs classified on the Shortage Occupational List will be done away with. There is also a recommendation to do away with companies having to pay foreigners 20% less than the market rates.