UK’s migration restrictions lead to a raised salary threshold of £38,700 for foreign workers

UK's migration restrictions lead to a raised salary threshold of £38,700 for foreign workers

The UK government is planning to increase the minimum salary required for foreign workers to take jobs in the country, as part of efforts to reduce migration. The minimum salary for a skilled worker visa will go up from £26,200 to £38,700 next year.

Home Secretary James Cleverly unveiled a five-point plan to address immigration concerns, stating that migration levels to the UK are “far too high,” highlighting years of abuse in health and care visas.

Conservative MPs, pressured by record net migration figures of 745,000 last year, urged action on legal migration.

In addition to the salary hike, Cleverly outlined other changes, including raising the minimum income for family visas to £38,700 from £26,200 starting next spring.

The government also plans to have its migration adviser review the graduate visa route to prevent abuse.

Cleverly argued that these measures would prevent over 300,000 individuals who arrived in the UK last year from doing so under the new regulations, emphasizing the need for fair, legal, and sustainable immigration policies.

Responding to concerns about deterring care workers from coming to the UK due to restrictions on bringing families, Cleverly acknowledged potential dissuasion but suggested there would still be care workers willing to relocate.

Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, criticized the government’s migration plan, labeling it another example of chaos within the government and calling for a comprehensive plan to train and recruit British workers.

Christina McAnea, Unison general secretary, expressed concerns that the proposed changes would have severe consequences for the NHS and social care, noting the critical role migrant workers play in these sectors due to staff shortages.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who promised to reduce migration levels, faces challenges in implementing changes, particularly in the health sector, where worker visas issued for health and care professionals doubled in the year to September.

Despite government statements about the need to address immigration and alleged visa abuse, recent statistics underscore the reliance on foreign workers in the health sector.

The surge in health and care worker visas issued indicates the ongoing challenges, with care workers and home workers receiving a significant portion of these visas.

The government’s migration advisers have previously highlighted persistent underfunding of local councils as a key factor contributing to staffing crises in adult social care.

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