UK implements stricter visa regulations: Care workers & students face separation from family members


THE United Kingdom’s Home Office has implemented new visa rules that ban overseas care workers and most overseas students from bringing dependant family members to the country.

The measures were put in place on Monday, with the UK Home Office saying there was a “disproportionate” situation where 120 000 dependants accompanied 100 000 workers on the care visa route last year.

These measures are set to affect Zimbabweans who are already in the UK and those who are planning on going with their families.

Migration trends have been increasing in recent years as the world increasingly becomes one global village.

As part of a wider package of restrictions, the Home Office, which is the UK government’s department for immigration and passports, estimates that 300 000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year will no longer be able to do so following the implementation of the restrictive measures.

“From today, care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependants. This is part of our plan to deliver the biggest ever cut in migration,” said the Home Office.

The UK’s Home Secretary James Cleverly said the 120 000 immigrants who entered the country last year would not be eligible under the new rules.

“We are delivering on our plan for the biggest-ever cut in migration. Overseas care workers brought an estimated 120 000 dependants to the UK in the year ending September 23,” said the UK Home Secretary.

UK Minister for Social Care Helen Whately added: “These rules provide a more ethical and sustainable approach”.

In addition, from April 4, the minimum salary required for those arriving on the Skilled Worker visa will increase from £26 200 to £38 700, signalling a 48 percent increase. The minimum income requirement for family visas will also subsequently rise, starting at £29 000 from April 11 and by next year this will be increased to £38 700.

The 20 percent salary discounts that were being offered for shortage occupations will also be scrapped next month.

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