The UK government has implemented measures to fulfill its commitment to achieve the most significant reduction in net migration, responding to the surge in levels reaching a record high.
Home Secretary James Cleverly unveiled a comprehensive five-point plan aimed at curbing immigration, citing the current levels as “far too high.”
As part of the announced changes, the minimum salary requirement for skilled overseas workers has been substantially increased, rising from £26,200 to £38,700.
Mr Cleverly pointed out that approximately 300,000 individuals eligible to come to the UK in the previous year would no longer meet the criteria in the future.
The minimum income for family visas has also seen an upward adjustment to £38,700.
In a statement addressing Members of Parliament, the Home Secretary stressed the necessity of reducing migration to the UK, citing longstanding abuse of health and care visas.
Mr Cleverly said, “enough is enough,” asserting that immigration policy must adhere to principles of fairness, legality, and sustainability.
The migration plan responds to recent official figures revealing a record-breaking net migration of 745,000 in 2022, prompting Conservative MPs to exert pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government.
The substantial increase in net migration poses a significant political challenge for Mr Sunak and the Conservatives, who have consistently pledged to decrease net migration since their ascent to power in 2010 and advocated for “taking back control” of the UK’s borders post-Brexit.
While the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto committed to reducing the number without specifying a target, former Prime Minister David Cameron had once vowed to bring net migration below 100,000.
Immigration is emerging as a pivotal issue leading up to the anticipated 2024 general election, with Labour leading in opinion polls. In response, Mr Sunak has pledged to do what is necessary to effectively bring down net migration.
Additional reporting by BBC.