The United Kingdom has raised the salary requirement for foreign individuals applying for work visas

The UK government, led by Rishi Sunak and striving to fulfill the Conservative Party’s commitment to reducing net migration, has announced a series of new measures ahead of an impending general election. Home Secretary James Cleverly unveiled these changes, including a significant increase in the salary requirement for individuals seeking working visas.

In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, Cleverly disclosed that applicants for working visas must now have a minimum annual income of £38,700 (GH₵587,578), a substantial hike from the previous threshold of £26,000. While outlining the government’s ambition to decrease net annual immigration by 300,000 in the coming years, Cleverly did not provide a specific timetable.

Among the additional measures highlighted by Cleverly are restrictions on overseas care workers, preventing them from bringing family dependents. The government also aims to abolish the 20% salary discount that firms can offer workers on the shortage occupation list.

Cleverly emphasized the government’s commitment to assisting those in need and addressing public concerns about immigration. He stated, “The British people will always do the right thing by those in need. But they also – and they are absolutely right to want to – reduce overall immigration numbers, not only by stopping the boats and shutting down the illegal routes but by a well-managed reduction in legal migration too.”

In response to recent immigration figures from the Office for National Statistics, which reported a net influx of 672,000 people in the year ending June, Rishi Sunak, facing pressure within the Tory party, underscored the government’s commitment to addressing the issue. Immigration, perceived as a pivotal electoral concern by party strategists, is at the forefront of the government’s agenda as the UK approaches a crucial general election. These measures reflect the government’s proactive stance on immigration, aiming to address concerns and fulfill its promises to the electorate.