WFY Today

The Effect Of The UK Visa Rule On Immigrants Now

According to the UK Home Office, 300,000 people who were qualified to enter the UK last year will no longer be able to do so.

The new UK visa restrictions prohibit carers from bringing family, a move intended to reduce the unequal number of dependents accompanying workers.
The United Kingdom has made significant changes to its visa requirements, sparking widespread concern among overseas groups, particularly Indian students, carers, and skilled workers, about the consequences for their future in the UK.

The government claims that the measures are necessary to prevent the exploitation of care workers who have been offered visas under false pretences, frequently for non-existent positions or earnings below the minimum allowed.

The new rules prohibit postgraduate research students from bringing dependents to the UK, impose a considerably higher wage requirement for foreign workers seeking skilled visas, and raise the minimum income for family visas. Indian nationals are the largest group of students granted leave via the post-study graduate visa route, and they have the second-highest number of dependents in the UK. These limitations will also affect Indians, as medics on health and care visas will no longer be permitted to bring any family members.

Changes in UK visa laws for professionals and carers

The new visa regulations also prohibit carers from bringing family, in an effort to reduce the unequal number of dependents accompanying workers. Furthermore, skilled workers now face higher salary criteria when bringing dependents into the nation. The measures include increasing the salary barrier for skilled workers and eliminating the 20% “going rate” discount for migrant workers in shortage occupations.

The UK declared in February that starting April 4, the minimum wage required for skilled worker visa applicants would increase by 48%, from about Rs 27,78,244 to Rs 41,03,899, greatly influencing the financial requirements for family visas as well.

This attempts to keep dependents from becoming an economic burden by providing indirect avenues to employment in the UK.
According to UK government data, over 120,000 dependents accompanied 100,000 workers along the route in 2023.
The majority of carers in the UK are Filipinos, Nigerians, Indians, and Zimbabweans.

Changes in UK visa policy for overseas students

The most significant change for international students is a ban on postgraduate research students bringing dependents to the UK, with the exception of those participating in Master of Research (MRes) and doctorate degrees. This follows recent changes to student visas that eliminated the possibility for most postgraduate students to bring dependents to the UK.

Experts think that, given the UK economy’s crisis since December 2023, it will be difficult for students to find skilled positions paying a minimum of £38,700 (roughly Rs 41,03,899) to bring dependents. This might have a huge impact on students and care workers who need family assistance.

A review of the Graduate Route for International Students has been commissioned to ensure its effectiveness, with Indian nationals being the largest group to benefit from this visa.

Broader implications of the new regulations As part of a larger package, the UK Home Office forecasts that 300,000 people who were qualified to come to the UK last year will be unable to do so, drastically reducing the availability of carers and other skilled professionals in the UK. While this may result in a short-term shortage of carers, leading to higher wages, it may also encourage Indian professionals to seek out other countries with more flexible family immigration regulations.

Comparison to other countries

There is a significant difference between the UK’s rigorous policies and the more permissive rules of the United States, Canada, and Australia, particularly for family immigration for students and researchers. For example, students on F-1 visas can apply for F-2 visas for their dependents (spouses and children). In fact, US F-1 visas allow students to work for up to one year after graduation, with the option to extend the period for STEM students. Canada and Australia also allow international graduates to work for two to four years after graduation.

Effect on Indian immigrants

Despite stricter laws, the United Kingdom remains appealing due to its prominent academic institutions and the absence of a language barrier. However, Indian professionals are cautioned to assess their options carefully, including nations that offer simpler transitions post-graduation for individuals in lower-paid employment or who wish to return to India.


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