Earlier this month, the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, made an announcement outlining the new UK immigration rules. The changes have been described as a “five point plan” to reduce immigration in the UK.
The UK has experienced unprecedented levels of immigration since the pandemic. The latest stats show that an estimated 672,000 people migrated to the UK in the year to June 2023. This is a significant increase when compared with pre-pandemic records. For this reason, Rishi Sunak’s government is implementing changes to the country’s immigration system.
What are the new UK immigration Rules?
The key measures that the government is taking to cut UK migration are as follows:
Increasing the minimum salary threshold
The minimum salary threshold for skilled workers will increase from £26,200 to £38,700 – an increase of almost 50%. The aim here is to try and encourage businesses to look to British talent first and invest in their workforce.
The minimum income threshold for Family Visas is also set to increase
The government will be raising the minimum income for family visas from £18,600 to £38,700 – in line with the minimum salary threshold for the Skilled Worker route.
Care workers will no longer be able to bring dependents to the UK
The new rules will prevent overseas care workers from bringing family dependants to the UK. Social care firms in England will be required to be Care Quality Commission registered to sponsor visas. Last year social care workers sponsored 120,000 dependants via this route.
The graduate route to be reviewed
As it stands, graduates can extend their visa for a further 2 years to remain in the UK to work. The government is looking to make changes to this visa to prevent people from staying in the UK after their studies come to and end.
The NHS surcharge will increase
The NHS surcharge is paid as a part of the visa application and grant the visa holder access to free health services in the UK. This charge is currently £624 per year and is set to rise to £1035 per year as part of the new UK immigration rules.
Why is the government introducing new UK immigration rules?
The short story is that the UK government feels that the “level of legal migration remains too high” – so by implementing these changes, they hope to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the UK.
Current migration figures are up significantly when compared with pre-pandemic volumes. The introduction of these new measure will mean around 300,000 people who came to the UK last year would now not be able to come.
The good news for anyone looking to migrate to the UK, is that these changes will not impact anyone who has already lodged a visa application or anyone who chooses to do so before the measures come into effect. For this reason, it is advised that people act quickly with regards to securing their UK immigration status.
When will the changes come into effect?
The new UK immigration rules are not expected to come into effect until spring 2024. The finer details of the changes have not yet been announced, which means it can be difficult to know exactly how the changes will affect people in different circumstances.
What we do know is those who choose to lodge a visa application or visa extension in the meantime will not be affected. If you are concerned that the new immigration rules will affect your immigration status or prospects in the future, it may be in your best interest to take action as soon as possible.
Get in touch.
Here at Ten Legal we can provide expert advice and assistance tailored to the individual circumstances of each applicant. Take the stress out of the equation and let our team of Immigration Specialists take the wheel. We welcome you to fill in our contact form or call the office directly on 0161 402 0213 for a no obligation chat.