The minimum income to qualify as a skilled worker in the UK has been raised from £26,000 to £38,700 a year. The country’s home secretary made the announcement on Monday evening, London time. This extended income limit condition will not apply to health care means care worker visas. However, under the new rules, dependents cannot be brought on care visa.
Care firms that want to sponsor people for visa applications will need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
But from spring 2024, they will have to have a job offer with a higher salary in order to get a work visa.
In view of the increase in net migration record numbers, the government took this decision to control immigration ahead of the upcoming elections.
Barrister Shuvagata Dey, the leader of Lexpert Solicitors in London, said that the new rules will be a big obstacle in the field of bringing workers from different countries, including Bangladesh. In practice, the government has taken this step to discourage immigration.
Net migration – the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving – has ballooned at just the point (after Brexit) that the government at Westminster holds all the levers to control it.
That is an accountability pinch point if ever you saw one – hence the anguish of many Conservative MPs attempting to reconcile a number treble the one they promised to cut four years ago.
That is the context for today’s plan – which at its heart has the claim that around 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would not be able to in future.
James Cleverly has come under pressure since becoming home secretary three weeks ago to show he is taking a hard line on immigration.
Conservatives are angry about the latest thwarting of the Rwanda deportation scheme in the courts and net migration hitting 745,000 last year.
Today’s five-point plan – which is “more robust” than any previous government’s stance on migration, according to Mr Cleverly – includes measures on health and care visas, skilled worker visas, family visas, the shortage occupation list and student visas.
The measures are:
- Health and care visas: Overseas care workers will not be able to bring family dependants, to end the “abuse of the health and care visa”. Care firms that want to sponsor people for visa applications will need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission. A dependant is defined by the government as a husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner, and children under 18.
- Skilled worker visa minimum salary change: The threshold for an application will rise by nearly 50% from £26,200 to £38,700 – although health and care workers will still be able to earn less before applying for the route.
- Shortage occupation list: The government wants to “scrap cut-price shortage labour from overseas” by reforming the way people working in short-staffed sectors can apply to come to the UK. This will include axing the 20% discount applied to the minimum salary for people looking for a visa for shortage occupations. The types of jobs on the list will also be reviewed and reduced.
- Family visas: The minimum threshold for a family visa will also be raised to £38,700 to “ensure people only bring dependants whom they can support financially”. Currently, it stands at the 2012 rate of £18,600.
- Student visas: Following the tightening of who can bring in family members on student visas earlier this year, the government will ask the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route “to prevent abuse and protect the integrity and quality of UK higher education”.