To reduce migration, the UK government announces changes to its visa requirements.

February 5, 2024BY Divine Visas ( 0 ) Comment

The Conservative Government said that in 2022, the number of people coming to live in the country minus those leaving was 745,000. This caused a big problem for the party. They’ve always been strong on immigration, but this number was really bad for them. Instead of looking at why so many people are coming, like the end of free movement for EU citizens and not having enough health and social care workers, the government quickly made a decision without thinking too much.

Changes That Are Being Suggested

The Home Secretary, James Cleverly, has unveiled a comprehensive five-point plan outlining proposed changes to the immigration system which he declared would tackle legal immigration which was “far too high.”

The objective of these changes is to significantly lower the net migration figure by several hundred thousand individuals. Cleverly asserted that under the new regulations, approximately 300,000 eligible individuals from the previous year would no longer be permitted to enter the UK.

Change 1

Social Workers Cannot Bring Their Dependents

In the past, individuals with a health and care worker visa were allowed to enter the UK with their dependent partners and kids. They would have to demonstrate that they had the resources to sustain their family in the UK in addition to paying hefty visa application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The Home Secretary declared that he will “end the abuse of the health and care visa” in spite of these cumulative requirements.

According to his suggested modifications, 120,000 dependent health and care worker visas would no longer be granted based on the 2022 figures. Of course, the human cost of this is that 120,000 spouses and dependent children may be split up from the 100,000 health and care workers who would have otherwise arrived in the UK. It remains to be seen if these labourers will continue to travel to the UK.

The Home Secretary further said that in order for foreign health and care workers to be sponsored, social care providers need to be subject to Care Quality Commission regulations.

Change 2

In accordance with modifications to skilled worker visas, the minimum income requirement for family visas has increased.

Family visas were also targeted for changes, in addition to work visas. To match the barrier for skilled worker visas, the home secretary announced a substantial increase in the minimum income criterion for family visas. In other words, this means a rise of more than 100% from the £18,600 fixed in 2012 to £38,700. As such, certain international partners will not be permitted to travel to the UK to be with their spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner. You should expect significant pushback to this move due to the contentious nature of the adjustment and previous legal challenges.

Change 3

List of Shortage Occupations for Reform and Final 20% Going Rate Salary Discount

The Home Secretary announced the government’s intention to terminate discounted immigration from abroad by eliminating the 20% salary reduction for shortage occupations. Additionally, he mentioned that the shortage occupation list would undergo revisions to align with the new minimum income requirement. As a result, there will be a reduction in the number of occupations included on the shortage occupation list.

Change 4

The Earning Level for Skilled Workers Will Rise to £38,700.

The central focus and main highlight of the announcement revolved around the decision to raise the minimum income requirement for the Skilled Worker Visa from £26,200 to £38,700. This adjustment was made to correspond with the “full-time median salary for those kinds of jobs”. Notably, exemptions to these changes would apply to health and care worker visa pathways, acknowledging the ongoing demand for additional staff and the comparatively modest wages typically earned by individuals in these professions.

Change 5

Request that the Migration Advisor for the Government Examine the Graduate Visa Process.

The Home Secretary’s last suggested modification was to request that the government’s migration advisor examine the graduate visa application process. Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher can currently apply for a two- or three-year visa, which allows them to work in the UK and bring any dependents along. Restrictions on dependent visas for students were announced in May, and it is very likely that these restrictions will also apply to dependent visas for graduates.

Further Announcements

In addition to the five-point strategy, the Home Secretary reiterated the news that the Immigration Health Surcharge would rise from £624 to £1,035, a 66% increase. He predicted that this would bring in £1.3 billion annually.

When Will the Modifications Happen?

The Home Secretary said “next spring” several times, but  could not provide a precise date. This is the most probable date for changes to be implemented, as adjustments and fee hikes often take effect in April.

If I Am Affected by the Changes, What Should I Do?

We advise you to apply for your visa as soon as possible if any of these changes would affect you and you are able to do so. The future of you and your family in the UK should always be protected, as there are no assurances regarding when these changes will take effect.

Please get in touch with Divine Visas if you require any help with your application. With our unparalleled  Trustpilot rating and over experience, we are the preferred option for thousands of migrants entering the industry.

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