UK Government Implements New Immigration Regulations to Reduce Net Migration – South Asia Time

UK Government Implements New Immigration Regulations to Reduce Net Migration

 May 16, 2024  

The UK government has announced stringent measures aimed at curbing net migration and addressing visa misuse, citing concerns over unsustainable legal migration levels. The move comes after official data revealed a record net migration of 745,000 in 2022, prompting ministers to assert that immigration levels are “far too high.”

Under the new regulations, which are set to take effect from spring 2024, significant changes will be introduced to the country’s immigration system. Most notably, individuals seeking work in the UK will be required to apply for a visa through the points-based system (PBS) and must have a job offer with a substantially higher salary. The minimum salary threshold for sponsored skilled workers will increase by almost 50 percent, rising from £26,200 to £38,700.

However, certain exemptions will apply, particularly in sectors deemed essential such as health and social care. Nevertheless, overseas care workers will not be permitted to bring family dependents under the new rules.

The changes also extend to family and spouse visas, with the minimum income requirement for sponsorship witnessing a phased increase from £18,600 per year to around £38,700 by early 2025. Additionally, there will be revisions to the Shortage Occupation List to limit the number of jobs eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker visa.

While the new rules are scheduled to be implemented in stages, concerns have been raised regarding their potential impact on migrant families. Home Secretary James Cleverly has indicated that around 300,000 individuals who arrived in the UK last year may be affected by the stricter regulations. Furthermore, statistics suggest that a significant portion of UK residents may struggle to meet the new income threshold required to sponsor family members, potentially affecting more than 60 percent of applicants.

In light of these changes, migrants are advised to act swiftly, particularly regarding visa applications for family members, to avoid being impacted by the escalating income requirements. The government has assured that individuals applying for visa extensions before the specified deadlines will not be subject to the new thresholds.

The implementation of these regulations reflects the government’s commitment to reforming the immigration system to ensure sustainability and address concerns surrounding net migration levels.