LONDON: What Impact Will New UK Family Visa Rule Have On Indians

LONDON: What Impact Will New UK Family Visa Rule Have On Indians

LONDON: The United Kingdom has implemented new visa and income regulations as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plans to cut down immigration levels. As part of the changes the minimum income required to sponsor family members has been raised significantly, creating a concern for Indian migrants. Those who earn less than 29,000 pounds, will not be able to sponsor a family member’s visa in the country.

The number is a significant 55% rise from the current income benchmark – 18,600 pounds. And the benchmark will rise to 38,700 pounds early next year.

The annual earnings of nearly 50% of people who migrated to the UK from India was less than 39,000 pounds in 2022, according to a report by the migration observatory at the University of Oxford.

Notably, Indians represent a significant portion of non-EU immigration into the UK, with substantial numbers arriving for study-related purposes. The surge in visas granted to dependents from India and Nigeria underscores the growing trend of family migration within these communities.

Indians have also consistently ranked among the top beneficiaries of skilled work visas, with a notable increase observed in the ‘Skilled Worker – Health and Care’ category. The number of such visas issued to Indians saw a 63 per cent hike from 13,380 in 2021-22 to 21,837 in 2022-23.

UK Home Office data show that Indian nationals represented 38% of all dependants issued a work visa alongside main applicants, followed by Nigerian and Zimbabwean nationals (17% and 9%, respectively).

However, the recent changes in the family visa rules will make it difficult for many Indian workers to meet the new criteria.

This move to increase the income threshold to sponsor a family member’s visa, initiated by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary James Cleverly, aims to curb legal migration and alleviate taxpayer burdens, according to the UK Home Office.

Cleverly emphasized the necessity of reducing migration levels, acknowledging the complexities and challenges inherent in achieving a balance acceptable to the British populace.

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