An expert on visa rule revisions predicts tighter UK immigration rules in the ‘2024 election year’.

More immigration policy debates are predicted in the United Kingdom in 2024, with proposed measures most likely to be adopted during the election year.

The United Kingdom is set to confront further debates over its visa restrictions and immigration policies, with major changes planned and implemented in 2024, an election year. “Last year, net migration reached a record total of 745,000, which many British people feel is too high,” Yash Dubal, director and senior immigration associate of A Y & J Solicitors, said, adding that the immigration problem is likely to be an ‘election pitch’. Several adjustments have been implemented over the last few years. 

Following its separation from the European Union, the United Kingdom implemented a new points-based immigration system on January 1, 2021.

To further disrupt the system, on July 13, 2023, the government announced a 15% to 35% increase in most UK visa application fees beginning in October. 

Aside from that, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), a fee paid by visa holders (except Health and Care visa holders and their dependents), will increase by 66%, from £624 to £1035 per person per year. 

Most applicants for a regular skilled worker visa must earn at least £26,200 per year. The first minimum wage hike will take effect in spring 2024, rising to over £34,500 at an undefined time but most likely later in 2024, followed by nearly £38,700 in early 2025. 

Changes to UK immigration legislation include restrictions on students bringing their families to the country and making it more difficult for them to get work permits.

International students can no longer bring their partners or children on dependent visas unless they are enrolled in a Ph.D. or postgraduate research study. The Graduate Visa, which allows international students to work in any employment in the UK for two years following graduation, is currently being reviewed.

What changes may newcomers expect?

Dubal went on to say, “It is expected that restrictions will be added, and it may be scrapped altogether.” Students will also have a more difficult time transitioning directly to skilled worker visas as the minimum sponsorship income increases from £26,200 to £38,700. The average graduation wage in the UK is somewhat more than £33,000, which is significantly less than the needed number.

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