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Here’s what you need to know about UK’s new visa rules

Courtesy: Geo News

The United Kingdom has recently seen a surge in migrants and to deal with that influx, the country’s government has updated its visa policy and requirement, the BBC reported.

The UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the record number of 745,000 people who came to the country in 2022 was “far too high” leading to a 50% rise in the minimum salary requirement for visa applicants.

The new minimum salary requirement for visa applicants is £38,700, a significant rise previous from £26,200.

This means that starting from Thursday, April 11, most people wanting to work in the UK will still have to apply for a visa through the points-based system (PBS) but they will need a job offer with a higher salary.

The threshold is not applicable to certain jobs, such as health and social care, and teacher on national pay scales. But overseas care workers cannot bring family dependents with them.

New rules for UK family visas

You need a family visa if you want to live with a relative who has the right to be in the UK for more than six months.

You can apply to live with your spouse or partner, fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, child, parent or a relative who will provide long-term care for you.

You have to demonstrate a good knowledge of English, and meet the minimum income threshold which has been raised to a new minimum of £29,000 from £18,600.

Sunak predicts a future increase in the amount “in early 2025”.

Additionally, the Home Office has confirmed that anyone renewing an existing family visa will not have to meet the new earnings threshold.

‘Shortage occupation list’

The “shortage occupation list” assists employers in filling key sector vacancies with lower salary thresholds, enabling applicants to gain visa points.

The list includes:

  • Health and care workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Graphic designers
  • Construction workers
  • Vets

Employers were previously allowed to pay foreign workers 80% of the usual “going rate” for filling certain positions, but this rule has been abolished and the number of occupations on the list is being cut.

New rules for UK student visas

The UK government issued 486,107 study visas from September 2022 to September 2023, with half of those granted to Indian, Chinese, Nigerian, Pakistani and US nationals.

Those on postgraduate courses could also apply for visas for qualifying dependents: a husband, wife, civil or unmarried partner and children under 18.

Starting from January 2024, international postgraduate students have been prohibited from bringing dependents unless their course is designated as a research programme.

Students who have already completed their degree can stay in the UK for two years — three years for those with a doctoral degree — to work under a graduate visa.

1- Header image: UK changes its visa rules. — Unsplash

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