The United Kingdom tightens immigration rules to reduce record numbers of migrants

On Monday, British Home Secretary James Cleverly announced a major tightening of the country’s immigration policy, in an attempt to reduce immigration that has reached record levels. The new policies will affect Indian citizens, Who formed the largest group (2,53,000) Number of immigrant arrivals according to provisional figures for the year ending June 2023.

This week’s measures would make around 300,000 potential migrants under current rules ineligible to move to the UK once the new policy kicks in, according to the Home Office. Net migration into the UK reached a record 7,45,000 in December 2022, prompting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government to announce further action on immigration as the country heads towards a general election.

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The announced policies include an increase in the minimum salary for skilled worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 (excluding the health and care visa route) from next spring. Income requirements for some family members of British citizens or “settled persons” (i.e. those with permanent residence for example) will also increase.

The annual ‘health surcharge’ to support Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) will rise from £624 to £1,035 – an increase of 66%.

The list of “Missing Occupations” will be reviewed and the 20% minimum salary for hiring a foreign worker in this category will be ended.

International students – with the exception of students on postgraduate research courses – will no longer be able to bring dependents from January 2024. The Sunak government has also announced a tightening of the health visa route.

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The Home Ministry said that 1,01,000 healthcare visas were granted in the year ending September 2023, with an associated 1,20,000 dependent visas for these workers: Migrants on healthcare visa will no longer be allowed to bring dependents with them.

Sunak said that “immigration is too high” and called for “radical measures” to reduce it.

“I am taking decisive action to stop the surge in our work visa pathways and crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our hospitality,” Cleverley said.

Mr Cleverley traveled to Rwanda on Tuesday to finalize a new asylum treaty after the UK High Court ruled that an old arrangement to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was unlawful.

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