Thursday, December 14, 2023

UK Unveils Tough New Rules Designed to Cut Immigrant Numbers; Cleverly to Announce Salary Threshold Rise as Part of New Migration Package; Britons Earning Under £38,700 Face Being Unable Live With Foreign Spouses In UK

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
UK unveils tough new rules designed to cut immigrant numbers:
The British government announced tough new immigration rules Monday that it says will reduce the number of people able to move to the U.K. each year by hundreds of thousands.
Home Secretary James Cleverly said he was taking “robust action” to lower authorized immigration, which hit a record level of almost 750,000 people in 2022. Critics said the moves would leave overstretched sectors like health and social care at a breaking point.
Under the new rules, immigrants will have to earn more to get a work visa and will find it harder to bring family members to the U.K.
Cleverly said that from the spring of 2024, prospective immigrants will have to earn 38,700 pounds ($48,900) to get a skilled worker visa, up from 26,200 pounds ($33,000) now. British citizens who want to bring their foreign spouse to Britain will have to earn the same amount – almost double the current threshold.
Health and social care, sectors that are highly reliant on immigrant staff, are exempt from the salary rule. But care workers from overseas will no longer be able to bring dependent relatives with them to Britain, leading to concerns in the industry that fewer will want to come.
The government also said it would scrap a rule that lets employers in sectors on a “shortage occupation list” pay immigrant workers 20% less than U.K. citizens.
Starting in January, most foreign graduate students also will no longer be able to bring family members to the U.K.
Cleverly said the new measures would reduce by 300,000 the number of people eligible to move to Britain in future years. --->READ MORE HERE
Photograph: Justin Kase zfivez/Alamy
Cleverly to announce salary threshold rise as part of new migration package
The home secretary is preparing to announce a package of measures to cut net migration to the UK, including an increase in the salary threshold for overseas workers.
James Cleverly is expected to tell the House of Commons that the minimum salary requirement for a skilled worker from outside the UK will be significantly increased to about £38,000, a Whitehall official has said.
News of the announcement, expected on Monday, comes after Rishi Sunak had been put under intense pressure from ministers and MPs to raise the figure from its current level of £26,200.
The prime minister has vowed to “do what is necessary” to decrease net migration to the UK after an official estimate saying it had reached a record of 745,000 in 2022, blowing a hole in the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto commitment to reduce it.
The move goes far further than anticipated and in effect revives the pre-Brexit immigration system, when skilled non-EU workers largely required degrees. Sunak is also believed to have accepted further proposals demanded by MPs on the right of his party. It is understood that the number of dependants social care workers are allowed to bring into Britain will also be scaled back.
Home Office figures showed that visas granted to foreign health and social care workers more than doubled to 143,990 in the year to September. They brought in a total of 173,896 dependants.
The general secretary of the Unison union, Christina McAnea, said the package of measures would be “cruel” and “disastrous” for the social care sector.She told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme: “I think this is one of these really cruel and disastrous policies basically for the sector. We already know that there’s massive shortages in social care and indeed in health. --->READ MORE HERE
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+++++Britons earning under £38,700 face being unable live with foreign spouses in UK+++++

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