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Changes to Immigration Policy | RVS Solicitors
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Changes to Immigration Policy | RVS Solicitors

Updated: 20 June, 2024

By Dr Lusine Navasardyan

Dr Lusine Navasardyan is Director and Head of Corporate and Business Immigration at RVS Solicitors. Dr Lusine studied at Yerevan State University and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. She is also a published author and a member of the Bucharest Bar. As a Director of RVS Solicitors, she is instrumental to the operation of the law firm, and as Head of Corporate and Business Immigration, she helps our clients to forge new futures in the UK.

Changes to Immigration Policy | RVS Solicitors

The Home Secretary James Cleverly, on behalf of the government, has recently announced a 5-point plan to tackle migration to the UK. This comes from a long-standing pledge of the Conservative Party to reduce migration and implement stricter immigration laws.

What spurred this most change was recent statistics published by the Office for National Statistics of record high net migration in 2022, of over 700,000; a far cry from promises of keeping figures as low as 250,000. These changes are likely to have extreme consequences on the UK economy and all sectors of industry when they come into play and most importantly, pose significant challenges for those wishing to come to the UK to work and bring family dependants. As of the time of writing this article, these changes are simply proposed and have not yet become law.

There are 5 key measures the current government seek to implement in immigration policy.

  1. Skilled worker Visa

    There has been an increase in the financial threshold required for those who wish to apply for a UK work visa through the Skilled Worker immigration route. This change would mean that the threshold for an application will rise from £26,200 to £38,700. As such, an individual will have to earn at least £38,700 as a salary in order to apply, however, health and care workers will still be able to earn less before applying for the route.

    All higher salary will significantly lower the attractiveness of bringing workers from overseas and make it nearly impossible for the smaller businesses to remain compatible on a job market.
  2. Health and care visas

    Another news announced the the Government is that overseas care workers will no longer be able to bring family dependants from Spring 2024. It is unclear yet, how this will impact availability of care workers, but it is expected that inability to bring over family members,is likely to diminish the attractiveness of this visa type.

    Moreover, any care firms that wish to sponsor people for visa applications will now need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

    It is important to note that the Home Office has been regarding the Care industry for a while as high risk,given that indeed some irregularities in respect of sponsoring overseas workers have taken place. In the recent months, we have seen increased compliance visits to all the care related businesses, holding Sponsor Licence.
  3. Shortage occupation list

    The government wish to reform the way people working in short-staffed sectors can apply to come to the UK. This will include the abolition of the 20% discount applied to the minimum salary for those looking for a visa for shortage occupations. The types of jobs on the list are to be reviewed and reduced.
  4. Student Visas

    Those holding a student visa have already been barred from bringing family dependants under this route from January 2024. In addition, the government will review the graduate route “to prevent abuse and protect the integrity and quality of UK higher education”. What this will mean in practice, are yet to be seen.
  5. Family visas

    One of the most controversial changes announced by the government has to do with the changes announced to the financial requirement for family visas. As of spring 2024, the financial requirement for partner visa will be raised to £38,700,from the current £18,600. The Government has stated that the increase is to “ensure people only bring dependants whom they can support financially”. In practice this will mean that only a quite limited group of people will be able to afford bringing over a dependent spouse. For those who also happen to have non-British children that require to be sponsored under family route will be hit even worse, as the required amount will be higher with each additional child.

    It is yet unclear what will happen to those who are already on the spouse or child route and we would hope for a sensible approach of keeping the requirements the same for those already in the UK.

    In any event, we expect to see some significant challenges to such a drastic increase in the amounts required to bring a family member to the UK, considering that only about 25% of the population earns the required amount, this income being even more difficult to achieve for those under 40, or over 50, as well as women and those based outside of London.

Additional change on health surcharge

The above is coming on top of already too onerous immigration fees. We would like to remind that the immigration health surcharge will also increase from £624 to £1,035 in January 2024, making the cost of an immigration application quite prohibitive.

What does this mean for you?

Anyone looking to immigrate to the UK on the basis of the above mentioned routes should complete their applications as soon as possible, whilst the current rules are still in place. The more stringent rules are likely to be in effect sooner rather than later and it is imperative that individuals are aware of the more onerous requirements which may affect them and their family’s statuses.

Anyone looking to immigrate to the UK on the basis of the above mentioned routes should complete their applications as soon as possible, whilst the current rules are still in place. The more stringent rules are likely to be in effect sooner rather than later and it is imperative that individuals are aware of the more onerous requirements which may affect them and their family’s statuses.

How can RVS help?

We have years of experience in assisting with immigration into the UK and we have countless success stories. We have been able to guide our clients through the ever-changing landscape of the UK immigration system, provide clarity, and most importantly, succeed in ensuring our clients can fulfil their dreams.

We will start with an initial consultation to see how we will best be able to assist you under a visa route or even suggest a route that may be more suited to your needs and situation. We will discuss with you the estimated costs in terms of the application fees, our service fees, and the timeframes that would be involved, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have.

We will start with an initial consultation to see how we will best be able to assist you under a visa route or even suggest a route that may be more suited to your needs and situation. We will discuss with you the estimated costs in terms of the application fees, our service fees, and the timeframes that would be involved, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have.

We are confident in our abilities and our client successes speak for themselves, check out our client testimonials here.

Send us an email today at info@rvssolicitors.co.uk or browse our website for all the services we offer.

Contact our experts in Immigration
Changes to Immigration Policy | RVS Solicitors
Director & Head of Corporate & Business Immigration
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Changes to Immigration Policy | RVS Solicitors
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