The Home Office announced a plan to cut net migration to the United Kingdom next year by 300,000 people.

Key Points:

The measures will cut immigration by reducing the high number of dependents coming to the U.K. and increasing the minimum salaries required for overseas workers and family visa applications.

The changes include:

  • Eliminating the ability for Health and Care Worker visa holders filling care worker and senior care worker roles to bring dependents with them. In addition, care providers will now only be able to sponsor migrant workers if they are undertaking activities regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
  • An increase to the general earning threshold for overseas workers in the Skilled Worker category of nearly 50% from its current level of £26,200 to £38,700 (about US$48,700).
  • An increase to the minimum income required for British citizens and those settled in the U.K. who want their family members to join them from its current level of £18,600 to £38,700 (about US$48,700).
  • An end to the 20% “going rate” salary discount for shortage occupations.
  • Replacing the Shortage Occupation List with a new Immigration Salary List, which will retain a general threshold discount. The Migration Advisory Committee will review the new list and reduce the number of occupations on it based on the increased salary thresholds.

Additional Information: The U.K. government is prioritizing increasing their domestic workforce through the “Back to Work Plan.” The measures are meant to intentionally reduce net migration and make immigration more expensive for both employers and foreign nationals. Home Secretary James Cleverly said, “It is clear that net migration remains far too high … my plan will deliver the biggest ever reduction in net migration and will mean around 300,000 people who came to the U.K. last year would not have been able to do so.”

BAL Analysis: The measures represent significant changes to the U.K.’s immigration system and are designed to reduce the number of migrants coming to the country. They are set to take effect in spring 2024. BAL will continue following the implementation of these measures and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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