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UK Tightens Visa Rules: New Restrictions for Nigerians

by John Ocholi

The United Kingdom has imposed tougher visa restrictions on Nigerians and other countries seeking work visas into the country. The move is meant to reduce migration by over 300,000.

Home Secretary James Cleverly announced new rules intended to bring down migration to the UK on Monday

He said as part of the measures, the salary needed to qualify for a skilled worker visa is increasing to £38,700, which represents almost 50% increase on the current level, which is just over £26,000, according to the BBC.

This is more than the current median average salary of a full-time UK worker, which sits at £34,963.

The home secretary confirmed that the immigration health surcharge this year will rise by 66% – from £624 to £1,035, saying that paying this surcharge is what gives migrants to the UK access to the NHS.

Cleverly said this will raise around £1.3 billion yearly for the health service.

He also said the government would “end the abuse of the Health and Care Visa” by stopping overseas care workers from bringing family dependants to the UK.

He told the House of Commons that approximately 120,000 dependants accompanied 100,000 care workers and senior care workers in the year ending September 2023.

“Only 25% of dependants are estimated to be in work, meaning a significant number are drawing on public services and not helping to grow the economy,” he said.

Additionally, Cleverly announced a review to shortage lists – the government will “scrap cut price shortage labour from overseas”.

This means an end to the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations.

The Migration Advisory Committee has been asked to review the occupations on this list and a new immigration salary list will be created with a reduced number of occupations.

He said with the new rules, 300,000 people who were previously eligible to come into the UK would now not be.

According to him, “Enough is enough.”

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