The United Kingdom is set to unveil a series of measures aimed at curbing legal migration in response to a surge in net migration that reached a staggering 745,000 last year. These measures are set to address both legal and illegal migration figures.
In our video, Xinyi Hu, a Paralegal in Gherson’s immigration team, talks through the comprehensive five-point plan that promises to reshape UK’s immigration landscape in 2024.
One significant change is the anticipated increase in the salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas. The current threshold of £26,200 is set to rise substantially, reaching £38,700. This shift aims to strike a balance between economic considerations and concerns about the impact of immigration on local job markets. In addition, the intention is to raise the level of income for Family visas to £38,700. This would potentially put many families in a predicament, especially when extending their permission to stay in the UK or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Moreover, a ban on care workers bringing their families to the UK is among the proposed measures, reflecting an effort to tighten regulations around Health and Care visas. This controversial move, coupled with a review of the Student Graduate route, underscores the Government’s commitment to ensuring that immigration policies align with economic needs and national interests.
The Government also plans to address and reform the “shortage occupation list”. The proposal includes scrapping the 20% discount applied to the minimum salary for certain occupations, thereby addressing concerns about potential wage depression and worker exploitation. It has further been announced that the Graduate Visa route will undergo a diligent review and potentially face closure.
Despite these stringent measures, questions linger about the delicate balance between controlling migration and meeting the demands of various sectors, particularly healthcare and hospitality. The proposed changes have drawn mixed reactions, with some industry bodies expressing concerns about exacerbating existing labour shortages. Some outlined the dire economic consequences that the proposed measures might bring. Vivienne Stern, the Managing director of Universities UK, expressed that “International students bring a staggering £40bn into the UK economy and constitute one of the UK’s strongest exports.”
As immigration policies take centre stage, the Government contends that these measures will prevent around 300,000 individuals who entered the UK last year from doing so under the proposed regulations. Home Secretary James Cleverly emphasises the Government’s commitment to a fair, consistent, legal and sustainable immigration policy.
The unfolding developments mark a significant chapter in the UK’s immigration narrative, with implications for businesses, educational institutions and individuals alike. As the Government seeks to strike a delicate balance, the nation watches closely, anticipating the impacts and challenges that lie ahead.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.