UK Unveils Stringent Immigration Rules

UK Introduces Stringent New Regulations Aimed at Reducing Immigration Figures

UK Unveils Stringent Immigration Rules Targeting Significant Reductions in Annual Migration

The British government has introduced tough new immigration rules aimed at drastically decreasing the annual number of individuals allowed to move to the U.K. Home Secretary James Cleverly emphasized the government’s commitment to taking “robust action” to lower authorized immigration, which reached a record level of nearly 750,000 people in 2022. The measures include higher income requirements for work visas and increased difficulty in bringing family members to the U.K.

Under the updated rules, prospective immigrants must earn £38,700 ($48,900) to qualify for a skilled worker visa, a significant increase from the current threshold of £26,200 ($33,000). British citizens seeking to bring foreign spouses to the U.K. will also need to meet the same income requirement, nearly double the existing threshold. However, health and social care sectors, highly reliant on immigrant staff, are exempt from the salary rule.

Despite the exemption, care workers from overseas will no longer be able to bring dependent relatives with them to the U.K., raising concerns about the potential impact on the industry. Additionally, the government plans to eliminate a rule allowing employers in shortage occupation sectors to pay immigrant workers 20% less than U.K. citizens.

Starting in January, most foreign graduate students will no longer be permitted to bring family members to the U.K. Cleverly estimates that these measures will reduce the number of people eligible to move to Britain by 300,000 in the coming years.

The move follows the release of revised figures by the Office for National Statistics, revealing a record net migration of 745,000 in 2022, with a subsequent decrease to 672,000 in the 12 months to June 2023. Cutting immigration has been a key priority for the governing Conservative Party, aligning with the Brexit narrative of regaining control over borders. However, critics argue that immigrants are essential for filling critical jobs, especially in healthcare and low-paid social care roles.

The government’s stance on immigration is also under scrutiny as it seeks to address the challenge of unauthorized asylum-seekers arriving via small boats across the English Channel. The recent Supreme Court ruling declared the government’s plan to send individuals on a one-way trip to Rwanda illegal. The government plans to negotiate a new treaty with Rwanda to address these concerns, with Cleverly expected to finalize the deal in Kigali this week.

Source: ABC NEWS