In a development that is undoubtedly bad news for people who were hoping to relocate to the United Kingdom on care visas, the country has decided to ban care workers from bringing any dependants.
And it’s not just care workers who will feel the brunt. According to BBC News, care companies fear the ban will put potential recruits off moving to the UK.
This decision is part of the UK government’s comprehensive five-point plan unveiled on Monday, aimed at reducing immigration.
Home Secretary James Cleverly, who has come under mounting pressure since assuming office three weeks ago, emphasized the need for a robust stance on immigration.
The latest figures from the Home Office showed that nearly 144,000 care workers, who arrived in the UK in the year up to September 2023, brought almost 174,000 family members with them, BBC News reported.
Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Cleverly introduced a new five-point plan scheduled to take effect in Spring 2024. The key elements of this plan include:
- The minimum salary for foreign skilled workers will be raised from £26,200 to £38,700 (about R623,000 to R920,000), though the health and care sector will be exempt).
- The minimum income requirement for a spouse or family visa will be raised from £18,600 to £38,700.
- Care workers will not be allowed to bring any dependants to the UK, and care firms will be required to be registered with the Care Quality Commission to sponsor visas.
- The Shortage Occupation List will be reformed and the current 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations will be abolished.
- The rules on students bringing family members to the UK will be tightened, plus the Migration Advisory Committee will be commissioned to carry out a full review of the graduate visa route.
Cleverly claimed these measures - as well as the previously announced measures on students - would mean that 300,000 people who entered the UK last year would not have been able to, Sky News reported.
"When our country voted to leave the European Union, we voted to take back control of our borders,“ he told MPs.
"Thanks to this Conservative government, we now have a points-based immigration system through which we control who comes to the UK.“