In a move to fulfil the Conservative Party’s pledge to reduce net migration, the government led by Rishi Sunak, facing an imminent general election, has unveiled a set of new measures.
These include a substantial increase in the salary requirement for individuals aspiring to reside in the UK.
Home Secretary James Cleverly unveiled the latest changes in the House of Commons on Monday, shedding light on the new requirements for working visas. As of now, individuals seeking these visas must have a minimum annual income of £38,700 (equivalent to GH₵587,578), a significant increase from the previous threshold of £26,000. This adjustment aims to ensure that only those with a certain level of financial stability can enter the country for work purposes. However, no specific timeline for the implementation of these changes was provided during Cleverly’s presentation.
In addition to the income requirement, Cleverly emphasized the government’s determination to reduce net annual immigration by 300,000 in the upcoming years. While the Home Secretary did not provide a detailed schedule for achieving this goal, it is evident that the government is committed to taking decisive action in this regard.
Cleverly underscored the government’s commitment to assisting those in need and addressing public concerns about immigration. “The British people will always do the right thing by those in need,” he stated. “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 the recently reported increase in immigration figures by the Office for National Statistics, which revealed a net influx of 672,000 people in the year ending June, Rishi Sunak, under significant pressure from within the Tory party, emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to tackling this issue. Immigration, and the perceived inability to control the overall numbers, is regarded as a crucial electoral matter by party strategists.
With a crucial general election on the horizon, these measures serve as a clear indication of the government’s proactive approach towards immigration, aiming to address concerns and fulfill its promises to the electorate.