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Powerful Politician Aims for U.K. Immigration Freeze; Act Now!

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. Powerful Politician Aims for U.K. Immigration Freeze; Act Now!

Political influencer Nigel Farage, has pledged smart immigration, not mass migration, which his party has described as freezing all "non-essential" immigration

Reform U.K.’s charismatic populist leader Nigel Farage has promised to freeze the number of people coming to live in the United Kingdom in his party’s core pledges, another sign of the hardening stance of Britain’s main political parties towards immigration ahead of the general elections.

Reform U.K. is not expected to win the July 4 election, but the young party has its sights on the next ballot in 2029, ITVX reported Farage as saying at a press conference in South Wales, where he unveiled his pledges June 17.

“This election is for our party, and for me, the first important step on the road to 2029," Farage is reported to have said after confirming earlier in the day that he has ambitions to be the U.K. prime minister by 2029.

Latest polls show Labour had an average 20-point lead over the past week, tallying at 41 percent ahead of the Tories on 21 percent and Reform on 15 percent, according to ITVX.

Reform U.K.’s pledges "smart immigrations, no mass migration," which it describes as freezing all "non-essential" immigration. It wouldn’t allow small boats in the Channel, achieved by detaining and deporting illegal migrants, and returning small boats to France.

The party says that imposing strict limits on people coming to the U.K. is the only way to relieve pressure on housing and public services, and to "protect our culture".

It says "essential skills, mainly around healthcare" would be the only exception to migration - but does not provide a conclusive list as to what exactly constitutes an "essential" skill, according to ITVX.

Farage’s statement comes amid a surge in U.K.’s net migration, which climbed to a record 764,000 in 2022, about three times the annual average before the pandemic. Net migration, the number of people immigrating minus those emigrating, fell 10 percent in 2023 to 685,000, the Office of National Statistics said last month.

Reform U.K.’s manifesto also pledged to "stop the boats" with a four-point plan, which includes "picking up illegal migrants out of boats and taking them back to France".

Migrants could be processed offshore "if necessary". It has also said there will be "no legal aid" for non-citizens arriving in the country and that those rejected "will be returned".

There would also be "immediate deportation" for foreign criminals at the end of their prison sentences and immigrants who commit a crime would have their citizenship withdrawn.

The U.K.’s two main political parties have also vowed to cut net migration if they win the general election in July that will likely lead to a further tightening of regulations.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose party is favourite to win, has promised to slash “sky-high” net migration, The Independent reported June 3. Last year’s 685,000 net migration figure has “got to come down” as he vowed to “control our borders and make sure British businesses are helped to hire Brits first,” The Independent cited Starmer as saying.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged that the Conservative Party will introduce an annual cap on the number of work and family visas issued by the U.K., The Times reported June 3. The exact number of visas granted each year would be determined by an annual vote in parliament, which is expected to call it an “immigration lock,” according to The Times.

The Home Office has said that U.K. immigration numbers will start falling once a series of measures announced by the government in December start to take effect.

They have included scrapping dependant visas for care workers, increasing the threshold salary to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa to £38,700 from £26,200 and disallowing foreign students not involved in research to bring in dependants from January 1, 2024. All of this should help to cut net migration by about 300,000 a year.

If you are considering applying for a visa for the U.K. it might be sensible to act sooner rather than later. There is no knowing how these prospective changes might impact you. One thing is pretty certain: that getting into the U.K. and achieving permanent residency will not get any easier.

If you have a question or would like our team's assistance with any immigration matters please get in touch through our contact form or by phone. We will be happy to provide the latest information and expert advice relevant to your specific requirements.

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