The Government's 5-point immigration plan (04/12/2023)
On 4 December, the Home Secretary announced a series of changes to the immigration system, which could have implications for the labour market. These changes are expected to come into force in Spring 2024 and include changes to:
- Health and care visas: Overseas care workers will no longer be able to bring family dependants. Going forward, care firms that want to sponsor people for visa applications must be regulated by the Care and Quality Commission (CQC).
- Skilled worker visa minimum salary change: The threshold for an application will rise to £38,700 - although the government has confirmed that health and care workers will be exempt from the rise in salary.
- Shortage occupation list: The government wants to reform the way people working in short-staffed sectors can apply to come to the UK. Measures include axing the 20% discount applied to the minimum salary for people looking for a visa for shortage occupations. The types of jobs on the SOL (including care workers) will also be reviewed and reduced.
- Family visas: The minimum threshold for a family visa will also be raised to £38,700. Currently, it stands at £18,600.
- Student visas: Earlier this year, government tightened rules around student visas and dependents. Now government plans to ask the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route further.
To read the REC's response, please click here. We are also preparing briefings for Labour's Home Affairs team on the need for a flexible immigration that is aligned to the skills system to boost our domestic talent pipeline. We will also be liaising with other industry colleagues to ensure that recruitment industry views are fed into the implementation of these policy announcements.
If you are impacted by these changes, please share your views with Usman Ali (Immigration Policy Lead) on Usman.Ali@rec.uk.com.
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