The UK will make it harder for employers to hire overseas staff by raising the pay threshold for skilled workers and banning care staff from bringing their families to the UK, in an attempt to cut record immigration by 300,000 a year, Report informs via The Financial Times.
Under plans set out by Home Secretary James Cleverly to get to grips with the politically charged issue, workers will need to earn at least £38,700 to obtain a visa, up from £26,200, while care workers will be barred from bringing in dependants from next April.
Employers will no longer be able to pay overseas workers less than UK employees in sectors where staff are in short supply, and the salary threshold for spousal visas will also be raised.
Monday’s announcement came as Rishi Sunak’s government sought to regain the initiative on immigration ahead of a general election expected next year.
“In total, this package will mean around 300,000 fewer people will come in future years,” Cleverly said, adding that migration to the UK was “far too high”.
In heavy blows to government policies on irregular and legal migration, the Supreme Court last month blocked Sunak’s flagship policy of sending “small boat” migrants to Rwanda and official data showed net legal migration hit a record high of 745,000 in 2022.
But some employers said Monday’s package could raise costs and exacerbate labor shortages, while unions attacked the curbs on family members.