Higher salary threshold for UK Family Visa comes into force : The Tribune India

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Higher salary threshold for UK Family Visa comes into force

Sponsoring family member must have a minimum annual salary of GBP 29,000, up from GBP 18,600

Higher salary threshold for UK Family Visa comes into force

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



PTI

London, April 11

The minimum income required for British citizens and residents, including those of Indian heritage, wanting to sponsor their relatives on a Family Visa increased by over 55 per cent from Thursday, as the incremental increase in salary thresholds announced by the government last year are enforced.

Starting Thursday, for someone to be sponsored to come to the UK on a Family Visa, they must have a minimum annual salary of GBP 29,000, up from GBP 18,600. By early next year, this will have increased two more times to match the Skilled Worker visa salary threshold of GBP 38,700.

The UK Home Office said it marks the final measure in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary James Cleverly’s package to reduce legal migration and “ensure those arriving here do not burden the taxpayer”.

“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,” said Cleverly.

“I promised action and we have delivered at remarkable speed. 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, and to build an immigration system fit for the future - and one the public can rightly have confidence in,” he said.

“Whether it was words unsupported by action, unfounded optimism or just plain wishful thinking that migration would fall on its own, indifference of any kind is never going to work – only determined action, backed by strong resolve, will deliver needed change,” the minister added.

The move had been criticised by the Opposition when it was first tabled in the House of Commons in December 2023. It led the government to opt for a more staged approach to the salary threshold hike, rather than an immediate hike to GBP 38,700, as previously indicated.

“I think the principle here is right, that if people are bringing dependents into this country as part of their family, they must be able to support them. We’re increasing the salary threshold significantly, and we’re going exactly as we said we were doing it – we’re just doing it in two stages,” Sunak said at the time.

The Home Office said the staged approach to increasing the income requirement for the Family Visa gives predictability to families, enabling them to plan accordingly, whilst ensuring that anyone coming to the UK to be with their family or loved ones is supported financially.

“The income requirement, which had remained unchanged for more than a decade, helps to ensure families are self-sufficient and not relying on public funds, whilst making a positive impact on the economy. The sponsoring family member, or in combination with the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work, must now have an income of at least GBP 29,000 earned in the UK. The requirement can be met in several ways, including through savings exclusively or in addition to a lower income,” the Home Office said.

It follows the Sunak-led government’s steps to cut migration, current levels of which are seen as too high – “putting pressure on public services, housing, and undercutting British workers”.

“The government’s ambition for a high-skill, a high-wage economy cannot rely on mass migration, and measures introduced as part of the package will protect British workers, encourage business to invest in, and recruit, workers domestically while prioritising only the very best talent from abroad,” the Home Office noted.

The latest measure is part of a wider package unveiled last year, which the Home Office says will mean approximately 3,00,000 people arriving in the UK last year would no longer be able to. Since the beginning of this year, several visa norms have been tightened as part of the package.

The steps taken by the government included ending the ability of nearly all students to bring dependants to the UK; restricting care workers from bringing family members; increasing the minimum salary required for those arriving on the Skilled Worker visa, from GBP 26,200 to GBP 38,700; and replacing the Shortage Occupation List with a new Immigration Salary List, aimed at blocking employers from paying migrants less than UK workers in shortage occupations.

#England #London


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