13 Dec 2023

United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Proposed Changes to Curb Net Migration (Expected Spring 2024)

Late last week, the UK government announced that it intends to make the following changes to the immigration system to curb migration to the UK, which has reached an all-time high in the past year:

  • Banning care workers who apply under the Health and Care Work visa from bringing dependent family members to the UK.
  • Ending companies being able to pay workers 20% less than the going rate for jobs on the shortage occupation list.
  • Increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)– the annual charge for foreign workers to use the NHS – from £624 to £1,035.
  • Raising the minimum income for family visas from £18,600 to £38,700.
  • Reviewing the Graduate visa route to “prevent abuse.”
  • Increasing Skilled Worker salary thresholds from £26,200 to £38,700.

These proposed changes are subject to a vote by the UK government. The home secretary has stated that if the vote goes through, these changes could take effect as soon as Spring 2024.

On 4 October 2023, there was also an increase in UK visa fees. Skilled Worker fees increased by 15%, family visasettlement, and citizenship fees by 20%, and Student visa fees by 35%.

The above proposed changes will provide another hurdle for those wanting to immigrate to the UK.

The T&S EMEA Team will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates once further announcements have been made.

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