UK unveils package of measures aimed at curbing migration

United Kingdom releases package of measures aimed at containing migration

UK Home Secretary James Cleverly announced new measures to reduce record net migration numbers.

James Cleverly has promised to reduce arrivals by about 300,000 a year, making it much harder for foreign workers to bring family members and increasing the minimum earnings needed to secure two main types of visas. He said the measures were being introduced in an attempt to “control immigration and stop abuses of the system”.

The Home Secretary also promised to “eliminate cut-price foreign labor shortages” by reviewing lists of scarce jobs and ordered a review of the rules allowing students to remain in the UK for up to three years after graduation.

“Enough is enough,” the Interior Minister told parliament when presenting his proposals, which will come into force at the beginning of next year. Cleverly said skilled foreign workers wanting a UK visa would have to earn £38,700 ($48,860), up from £26,200, just over a third more. He said the move would “stop immigration driving down the wages of British workers”.

The current average average salary for full-time workers in the UK is currently £34,963. But the changes mean that foreign workers would have to secure higher wages than their British counterparts in “skilled” jobs, where a typical salary is less than £38,700.

The Home Secretary, however, exempted health and social care workers where there are currently staff shortages, partly due to Brexit, but said they would be prevented from bringing dependent family members.

Cleverly increased the minimum income for family visas and confirmed restrictions for international students bringing dependents. He also reaffirmed that Britain would increase the surcharge migrants pay to access the state-run National Health Service (NHS) by 66 percent to £1,035. Cleverly added that the government would reform the “shortage occupations list”, which details jobs for which employers cannot find enough British workers.

Critics claim that this effectively imposes a double burden on migrant workers, as the workers have National Security charges, which are intended to cover health care, deducted from wages at source.

Around 120,000 dependents moved to the UK with 100,000 carers in the year ending September 2023, according to government data. Cleverly said only a quarter of them are employed, meaning “a significant number turn to public services rather than help grow the economy.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *