Tough visa rules set to cut net migration announced

Home Secretary James Cleverly has unveiled a five-point strategy to reduce immigration, citing its current levels as “excessively high.”

The recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show a provisional estimate of net migration for the year ending June 2023 of 672,000. While that is lower than the ONS estimate for net migration for the year ending December 2022, it is still far too high.”– James Cleverly debated on Monday 4 December 2023

Asserting that immigration policy should be fair, legal, and sustainable, Cleverly declared, “Enough is enough.” The move follows recent official statistics revealing a record net migration of 745,000 in 2022. Conservative MPs have intensified calls on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the government to bring down net migration, which represents the difference between individuals entering and departing the UK..

Cleverly argued that approximately 300,000 individuals eligible to enter the UK last year would no longer meet the criteria under the new rules. His measures include a significant increase in the minimum salary requirement for skilled foreign workers, soaring from £26,200 to £38,700. The minimum income threshold for family visas has also been elevated to £38,700. In a parliamentary address, the home secretary emphasized the need for a reduction in migration, alleging long-term abuse of health and care visas.

Key points of the migration plan, set to come into force in the 2024 Spring, include:

1.The minimum salary for a skilled worker visa has surged to £38,700, marking an almost 50% increase to deter migration.

2.Health and social care visas will be exempt from the heightened salary threshold to address NHS staffing needs.

3.Care workers, however, will no longer be permitted to bring their dependents.

4.The “shortage occupation list” is undergoing reform, resulting in a reduced number of listed occupations.

5.The salary requirement for family visas, distinct from work and student visas, has also been raised to £38,700.

Further explanations and detailed regulations from the government are awaited. The sharp reduction in migration policy is expected to impact the UK economy. There may be a transition or grace period for migrants currently under existing routes.


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