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Steps You Can Take as Immigration Rules Change Likely

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. Steps You Can Take as Immigration Rules Change Likely

If you are planning to immigrate to the U.K. it might be sensible to act sooner rather than later as there is no knowing how these prospective changes might impact you

Immigration regulations in the United Kingdom will likely be tightened as the country’s two main political parties have vowed to cut net migration if they win the general election in July.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose party is favourite to win the July 4 election, 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.

But both he and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper have refused to set a target – or a timeline – for their plans, according to The Independent.

The migration plan will be part of Labour’s election manifesto and include new laws to ban law-breaking employers from hiring foreign workers and to train more Britons, according to The Independent. The Migration Advisory Committee, Industrial Strategy Council and Skills England would be brought together to deliver the plan.

The statement comes amid a surge in 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. Curbing the inflow of foreigners was a key election plank of the Conservative Party.

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.

Sunak will pledge that the cap will be lowered in each of the next five years if he wins the election with the cap to be determined by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the government’s independent adviser on immigration policy.

Costs that would be considered include the extra burden on public services, wage depression caused by foreign labour, the knock-on effects on tax revenue, the impact on the domestic workforce such as higher numbers on jobless benefits and the pressure that immigration imposes on housing, 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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