The UK will reduce the number of migrants: what changes for highly skilled workers
The United Kingdom has announced plans to reduce the number of migrants arriving in the country through legal channels. London plans to increase the minimum wage they should receive for skilled work by a third. Learn more about the changes for highly skilled workers in 2023/2024 in the UK
In 2022, annual net migration to Great Britain reached a record high of 745,000 people, and throughout 2023 the number of expats continued to remain at a high level. The vast majority of foreigners come to the country from India, China and Nigeria. Also, many new residents are citizens of EU member states. Foreigners make up about 15% of the total population of the country.
Given the actively growing number of expats, in December 2023 the United Kingdom government announced a plan to reduce the number of foreign workers in the state. In addition to illegal migration, the innovations will also affect legal migrants. More about the main changes for highly skilled workers in the UK in 2024.
Raising the level of the minimum wage
The minimum salary threshold for applicants who receive a highly skilled worker visa will increase by almost 50% from £26,200 to £38,700. These changes will not only affect healthcare and social workers.
This wage level will exceed the minimum wage rate almost twice.
Analyzing the current list of skilled occupations, it can be concluded that only 15 of around 250 different categories of workers have wages above £38,700, giving an idea of how significant this change will be.
At the same time, experts say that this measure can lead to a significant shortage of qualified personnel in the country.
Preferential conditions for workers in deficit industries have been cancelled
Also, the rule that allows companies to pay foreign workers 20% less if their profession falls into the list of shortages will be abolished.
For example, an IT Business Analyst would nominally need to be paid £37,600 a year, but as their occupation code is currently on the shortage occupations list, the company can sponsor them at £30,080 a year.
Abolishing the list of scarce occupations will mean that it will be much more expensive for companies to hire foreign workers.
Changes in the family reunification procedure
Healthcare workers who care for patients will be prohibited from issuing dependent visas for their family members.
The minimum salary threshold for a family visa will also be raised from £18,600 to £38,700.
According to a statement by Home Secretary James Cleverley, it is planned that these measures could reduce the number of expats in Great Britain by 300,000 people.
The innovations will become operational in the spring of 2024.
Read about the changes that will affect the procedure for issuing student visas in Great Britain in 2024 here.
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