Rishi Sunak toughens UK visa rules to cut immigration: ‘Radical action’

Under pressure from Tory MPs, the UK government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, revealed a set of measures on Monday designed to significantly reduce migration levels. According to the UK Home Office, these measures will impact approximately 300,000 individuals who would no longer meet the criteria to enter the UK under the new regulations. One major alteration involves a one-third increase in the minimum salary that migrants must earn in skilled jobs.

Emphasizing the imperative to curb net migration, Sunak announced these measures as the most substantial cut in history through a social media post, declaring, \”We\’ve just announced the biggest ever cut in net migration. No Prime Minister has done this before in history.\”

Key measures unveiled by Sunak\’s government encompass:

  1. Dependant Restrictions: The government aims to cease the high numbers of dependants entering the UK, a critical facet of the strategy to reduce migration.
  2. Salary Threshold Increases: Minimum salaries for overseas workers and British or settled individuals sponsoring family members will witness a substantial increase. The earning threshold for overseas workers will surge by almost 50%, from £26,200 to £38,700, with a corresponding rise for British citizens sponsoring family members.
  3. Health and Care Visa Tightening: Restrictions will be imposed on the Health and Care visa, particularly impacting care workers and their dependents. Overseas care workers will no longer be allowed to bring dependants to the UK, and care providers can only sponsor migrant workers involved in activities regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
  4. Crackdown on Cut-Price Labour: The government plans to eliminate the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations and introduce an Immigration Salary List, reviewed by the Migration Advisory Committee to align with increased salary thresholds.
  5. Student Dependant Restrictions: Measures are already in place to address the rise in students bringing dependants to the UK. These changes are expected to significantly impact net migration, with around 153,000 visas granted to dependants of sponsored students in the year ending September 2023.

The government contends that these collective measures reinforce the principle that individuals desiring to live and work in the UK must be self-sufficient, contribute to the economy, and refrain from becoming a burden on the state.

Labour\’s home affairs spokesperson Yvette Cooper accused the Conservatives of being in a \”chaotic panic\” over immigration, characterizing the government\’s statement as an acknowledgment of years of failure.

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