The United Kingdom Home Secretary, Mr James Cleverly, has proposed a five-point plan to reduce migration into the United Kingdom from other countries.
The new five-point plan, which is “more robust” than any previous government’s stance on migration, according to Cleverly, includes measures on health and care visas, skilled worker visas, family visas, the shortage occupation list and student visas.
Cleverly told the parliament that the previous year’s application of the restrictions may have resulted in a reduction of 300,000 migrants yearly.
He announced plans to raise the minimum salary criteria for getting a skilled worker visa, currently set at £26,000, to £38,700, and to increase the immigration health surcharge from £624 to £1,035, adding that people with health and social care visas will be exempted from the higher wage requirement.
Also, overseas caregivers will no longer be permitted to bring dependents such as their partners and children.
The inference is that until their new spouse earns £38,700, a UK person who marries a non-UK citizen cannot bring them to live in the UK.
He told MPs: “When our country voted to leave the European Union, we voted to take back control of our borders. Thanks to this Conservative government, we now have a points-based immigration system through which we control who comes to the UK.
“We prioritise the skills and talent we need to grow our economy and support our NHS – and we have a competitive visa system for globally-mobile talent.
Immigration policy must be fair, consistent, legal, and sustainable.”
Further breaking down the measures, he said overseas care workers will not be able to bring family dependants to end the “abuse of the health and care visa”, adding that care firms that want to sponsor people for visa applications will need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
In skilled worker visa minimum salary change, he noted that the threshold for an application will rise by nearly 50% from £26,200 to £38,700 – although health and care workers will still be able to earn less before applying for the route.
On shortage occupation list, he said the government wants to “scrap cut-price shortage labor from overseas” by reforming the way people working in short-staffed sectors can apply to come to the UK. This will include axing the 20% discount applied to the minimum salary for people looking for a visa for shortage occupations.
On family visas, Cleverly disclosed that the minimum threshold for a family visa will also be raised to £38,700 to “ensure people only bring dependants whom they can support financially”, as it currently stands at the 2012 rate of £18,600.
On student visas, he said following the tightening of who can bring in family members on student visas earlier this year, the government will ask the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route “to prevent abuse and protect the integrity and quality of UK higher education”.