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The United Kingdom Sets up Stricter Visa Policies to Control Immigration

In response to rising net immigration statistics, Britain has announced a number of policies aimed at reducing the influx of immigrants via legal channels. The decision includes a one-third rise in the minimum wage criterion for skilled occupations, signaling a dramatic shift in the country’s visa policies.

According to recent data, annual net migration will reach a new high of 745,000 in 2022.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to address this issue, especially with an election looming.

High levels of legal migration have been a dominating subject in British politics, influencing the country’s decision to exit the EU in 2016. Sunak, seeking greater authority, has faced opposition inside his Conservative Party, prompting him to commit to rethinking and revising migration policies.

Concern over these Measures:

While these policies are deliberate attempts to address immigration issues, both corporations and labor organizations have expressed concerns. Critics claim that the changes will be counterproductive, posing problems for both the private sector and the state-run health care system, both of which are currently facing labor shortages.

The government intends to increase the minimum wage for foreign skilled workers from £26,200 to £38,700. Health and social workers, on the other hand, will be exempt from this change.

Additional measures include prohibiting international health workers from bringing family members with them on their visas. The health-care premium for migrants is going to rise by 66%, as is the minimum income requirement for family permits.

Influence on Industry:

These policy changes may result in problems with companies that have had difficulty employing people due to a tight labor market and the termination of free movement from the EU following Brexit.

The government intends to examine the shortage occupations list, which is a vital resource for businesses looking to hire foreign workers in industries with significant labor shortages. The present policy of enabling firms to pay migrants 80% of the regular rate for jobs with a labor shortage will be phased out, and a new immigration salary list with fewer occupations will be implemented.

Businesses, particularly those in the hospitality industry, have expressed concern about the potential impact on the talent pool. The opponents worry that these adjustments may exacerbate existing shortages rather than successfully addressing them.

Trade unions, particularly UNISON, raised concern over the plan’s implications for the health-care system, calling it a “total disaster” for the health-care system.

Subsequently, while the UK government seeks to establish control over migration, the immigration policies put in place have been criticized for their possible impact on various industries. The influence on the labor market and businesses is still a hot topic in talks over these immigration policies change.

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