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Braverman’s Plan for Immigration Reduction Spouse And Student Visas

Rules on dependent visas are set to change under proposed plans put forward by the Home Secretary.

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    Plans To Reduce Dependent Visa Numbers

    According to the Times, Suella Braverman is looking at ways to make it harder for foreign students to bring their spouses to the UK as part of a drive to reduce immigration numbers. This could impact on those planning to apply for a spouse visa or a student visa.

    There has been a 500 per cent rise in the total number of dependents of foreign students being granted visas over the past three years – rising from 13,644 in 2019 to 81,089 in June 2022.

    Big Ben

     

    Student, Family and Skilled Worker Visas Facing Changes

    The Home Secretary has now put forward new guidelines that would see the minimum income threshold that is required to bring dependents to the UK for student visas rise significantly. At present, student visa holders must have a monthly income of at least £680 per dependent. It is not clear what this threshold would rise to under the proposed changes.

    Family visas could also be impacted by Ms Braverman’s plans with an increase to the current £18,600 annual income needed by a couple to bring a child to the UK also being considered.

    Further plans to reduce those successfully being granted visas will also target the popular Skilled Worker Visa route. UK employers can fill jobs on the shortage occupation list with overseas workers if they commit to meeting the minimum salary threshold for that specific role.

    However, the Government has raised concerns such thresholds are significantly out of date – with some not being revised for more than a decade and meaning the “going rate” for some professions is well below the market rate.

    Government Facing Opposition From Education Bodies

    It is likely the changes are likely to be met with significant opposition. Last month, a suggestion by the Prime Minister that he was considering limiting the number of international students to curb migration was criticised heavily by the UK university community.

    Vivienne Stern, the chief executive of Universities UK, explained that international students contribute around £26 billion each year to the UK’s economy.

    Ms Stern added: “We should be proud that UK universities are held in such high esteem around the world that we are one of the most popular places to study. Instead of doing down a great strength of the UK, government should support it.

    “We need a long term, stable policy approach in international visas, which is tough on abuse but supports long term, managed growth.”

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