Hot Topics of Debate in the Run-Up to the 2024 UK General Election: Immigration Measures and Policy Changes

As the anticipated UK general election in 2024 approaches, immigration stands out as a key focal point, shaping debates and political discourse. With net migration reaching a record 745,000 in the previous year, concerns over its impact have become prominent among the British public. Both major political parties, the Conservatives and Labour, are now pledging measures to address illegal immigration and reduce the influx of legal migrants.

In a bid to address voter apprehensions, the ruling Conservatives are swiftly introducing and considering various restrictions. Some of these changes have already been implemented since January 1, while additional measures are under consideration, awaiting finalization later in the year.

Highlighted Measures:

Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Threshold:

The minimum salary for the Skilled Worker visa, issued approximately 208,000 times in the year ending September 2023, is set to increase from £26,200 to £38,700 in spring. This adjustment is expected to impact around 30% of applicants, primarily in the private sector.
Minimum Salary Requirement for Spouse Visas:

The minimum income requirement for British citizens seeking to bring foreign family members to the UK, initially set at £38,700, faced public backlash. The UK government partially revised the threshold to £29,000 in December, with subsequent increases to around £34,500 and £38,700 in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Shortage Occupation List (SOL):

The SOL, identifying jobs facing personnel shortages, may change. Recommendations propose scrapping the SOL and introducing an Immigration Salary List with fewer occupations. Any alterations will likely be implemented no earlier than April 2024.
Family Dependents of Health and Social Care Visa Holders:

As of spring 2024, care workers arriving in the UK will no longer be allowed to bring dependents, such as children or a partner. The change aims to impact social care workers, with 101,000 visas issued in the year to September 2023.
Graduate Visa Route:

Introduced on July 1, 2021, the Graduate visa route allowing international students to stay in the UK after graduation faces a review. Concerns about potential low-wage migration have prompted the government to assess its impact, with the review likely extending into late 2024.
Dependents of Student Visa Holders:

Effective January 1, changes prevent most foreign students from bringing family members to the UK for study. Only postgraduate research students and those on government-funded scholarships can now bring family members, a move expected to reduce overall migration by around 140,000.
The evolving landscape of immigration policies is expected to remain a central theme in the upcoming election, reflecting the UK’s efforts to address public concerns and shape its future migration landscape.


Source: MSN