New Immigration Visa Rules 2024
The government have recently revealed their new immigration measures which would see the biggest cut to record high net migration. Plans have been put into place after recent migration levels soared to record highs of 745,000 in 2022.
What is Net Migration?
Net migration is the difference between those entering and those leaving the UK.
New Visa Rules 2024 – Salary
Home Secretary James Cleverly announced a five-point plan to calm migration levels.
His changes include raising the minimum salary a skilled oversea worker needs from £26,200 to £38,700.
As a result, 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would no longer qualify to in the future.
Furthermore, the minimum income for a family visa has risen to above £38,700.
New Visa Rules 2024 – 5 Point Plan
In addition to salary requirements, the government states they will:
- Put a ban to care workers bringing family dependants to the UK.
- End companies’ ability to pay workers 20% less than the going rate for jobs on a shortage occupation list.
- Increase the annual charge foreign workers pay to use the NHS from £624 to £1,034.
- Raise the minimum income for family visas from £18,600 to £38,700 from next spring.
- Ask the government’s migration advisor to review the graduate visa route to “prevent abuse.”
When Will the New Visa Rules Come into Play?
The home secretary has informed MPs that changes will begin to take effect from spring 2024.
“In total, this package, plus our reduction in students’ dependants, will mean around 300,000 fewer people will come in future years than have come to the UK last year,” Mr Cleverly told MPs.
Previously this year, the Home Office announced a ban on most overseas students bringing dependants with them to the UK. The Home Office believes that this new restriction will account for almost half of the overall reduction in net migration.
Backlash to the New Immigration Visa Rules
Many are worried that the new rules will further stretch the NHS and social care sectors who are already short on staff. Unison general secretary Christina McAnea states “Migrant workers were encouraged to come here because both sectors are critically short of staff. Hospitals and care homes simply couldn’t function without them.”
Concerns Over Staffing
Recent statistics show the challenge that ministers will face in reducing migration into the health sector which already relies heavily on recruiting workers from abroad.
- Authorities issued 101,000 visas to care workers in September 2023.
- Authorities granted an additional estimated 120,000 visas to the family dependants of those care workers.
The care sector grapples with staffing shortages, and providers have resisted restrictions on their ability to hire foreign workers. Government migration advisers attribute the staffing crisis to “persistent underfunding” of local councils, the primary source of funding for adult social care.
Acknowledging concerns that some care workers may be discouraged from coming to the UK due to the inability to bring their families under new rules, Mr. Cleverly remains optimistic about attracting willing care workers to the country.
Dr. Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory, expressed surprise at the decision to raise the family income threshold to £38,700, calling it “the biggest surprise of the day.” The government’s modifications to the minimum income for family visas could prevent individuals from bringing their relatives to the UK in specific circumstances.
While family migration constitutes a small portion of the total, those affected can face significant consequences, with a disproportionate impact on lower-income British citizens, especially women and younger individuals who typically earn lower wages.
Navigating the New Immigration Rules: A Call to Action for Legal Advocacy in the Face of New Immigration Measures
In conclusion, the unveiling of the new immigration measures for 2024 signals a substantial shift in the UK’s approach to migration, with the government aiming for the most significant cut to net migration in history.
The implication of these measures raises concerns about potential strains on sectors such as healthcare and social care who are already dealing with understaffing issues. The policy makers need to be careful when balancing national concerns while ensuring the sustainability of vital services.
As these changes will be taking effect in spring 2024, it becomes imperative for legal professionals to closely monitor developments. Furthermore, solicitors will be advocating for fair and pragmatic immigration policies and engaging in constructive dialogue with policymakers. The potential impact on lower-income British citizens, women, and younger individuals emphasises the need for a nuanced approach that considers the wide consequences of these regulations.
Cartwright King’s immigration department provides informed legal guidance, advocating for clients affected by the changes, and contributing to the ongoing discourse surrounding immigration policies.
All advice is correct at time of publication.