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UK hikes family visa requirements in bid to cut migration

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NEW DELHI: The United Kingdom has announced an increase in the minimum income requirement for sponsoring family members to enter the country, effective from Thursday.
The new threshold will be set at “£29,000 ($36,800) from £18,600, rising to £38,700 early next year.” This change is part of UK Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak

‘s broader plan to address the issue of immigration, which has reached record levels in recent years and is expected to be a crucial topic in the upcoming general election in 2024.

Interior minister James Cleverly emphasized the complexity of the situation, stating, “We have reached a tipping point with mass migration. There is no simple solution or easy decision which cuts numbers to levels acceptable to the British people.” He further added, “We’ve acted to cut unsustainable numbers, to protect British workers and their wages, to ensure those bringing family to the UK do not burden taxpayers.”
The income requirement can be met through various means, including savings and income from employment. This measure is part of a larger set of policies announced in December, which also includes a significant increase in the minimum salary for skilled work visas, tightened regulations for students, and a substantial rise in the health surcharge for foreigners using the National Health Service (NHS). The ultimate goal, as stated by Cleverly, is to reduce the annual net migration to the UK by 300,000 from its current level of 745,000.

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