The UK government has introduced a thorough five-point plan aimed at addressing immigration concerns, eliciting a range of responses. The plan includes measures such as preventing care workers from relocating with their families and raising the minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visas.
Home Secretary James Cleverly, in office for just three weeks, is under growing pressure to demonstrate a decisive stance on immigration. “Enough is enough,” stated Cleverly, emphasizing that immigration policies should be fair, legal, and sustainable.
The recent setback in the Supreme Court on the Rwanda deportation scheme has fueled discontent among Conservatives. The Court ruled the proposal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as illegal, impacting the government’s immigration strategy.
According to the UK Office of National Statistics, net migration reached 745,000 last year, with the majority coming from non-EU countries. The top five non-EU nationalities include Indian, Nigerian, Chinese, Pakistani, and Ukrainian.
Here’s an explanation of the UK’s five-point plan:
1. Health and Care Visas: The plan aims to prevent the “abuse of the health and care visa,” prohibiting overseas care workers from bringing dependents, defined as spouses, civil partners, single partners, and children under eighteen.
2. Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Change: The minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visas, currently £26,000, has been raised to £38,700, representing a 50% increase.
3. Shortage Occupation List: The policy alters the Shortage Occupation list, eliminating the 20% minimum wage reduction for those applying for a visa in Shortage Occupations. The list will be reviewed and trimmed, impacting roles like graphics designers, construction workers, vets, programmers, and laboratory technicians.
4. Family Visas: The minimum requirement for a family visa will be increased to £38,700 from £18,600, ensuring financial support for dependents.
5. Student Visas: Changes to student visas are anticipated, with around 300,000 fewer people expected to come to the UK in future years.
These policy adjustments reflect the UK government’s efforts to address immigration challenges and achieve more stringent control over various visa categories.