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The UK Home Office recently unveiled strict new visa regulations intended to reduce annual immigration numbers by over 300,000.
Home Secretary James Cleverly stated the rules will curb system “abuse” while still welcoming those most needed. However, the changes have sparked concerns about staff shortages in certain sectors.
We summarise the key updates and analyse the potential impact below.
Increased Visa Salary Threshold
The minimum salary to qualify for a skilled worker visa rose substantially from £26,200 to £38,700 per year. This exceeds the UK’s current median full-time salary.
While still lower for healthcare roles, the higher financial bar could exclude lower-paid applicants.
Limits on Dependants
Stricter limits are now also placed on visa holders bringing dependants (spouses, partners and children).
For example, care workers can no longer bring dependants at all. Families may be reluctant to relocate/stay without kin.
Fewer Jobs on Shortage Occupation List
A reduced shortage list means employers lose leeway to hire foreign staff for tough-to-fill roles without meeting salary and skills criteria.
This risks worsening pre-existing staffing issues in social care, nursing and other fields.
Rising Immigration Health Surcharge
The surcharge allowing visa holders NHS access increased over 60% to £1,035 annually (£2,070 for “dependent children”).
While boosting health system funds, higher healthcare costs may discourage prospective migrants.
Implications for Applicants
The new policies intend to decrease immigration drastically. Applicants face more hurdles to secure or retain UK visas unless filling designated shortage occupations.
Higher salary requirements could negatively impact industries relying on overseas talent to address systemic skill gaps. Time will tell if pay and conditions improve to offset hiring barriers.
At Tann Law Solicitors, our qualified immigration specialists stay abreast of all policy changes. We’re here to help guide you through the process expertly and efficiently. Contact our team to discuss your situation in confidence.
Information sourced from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-67612152/