New family visa rules could leave British citizens with a foreign partner facing greater restrictions on who they can live with than migrant workers, according to leading immigration researchers.
Under new rules announced by Home Secretary James Cleverly, the minimum income for British citizens who want to live with family members in the UK is up to £38,700, an increase of more than £20,000 from the previous figure of £18,000.
The change has been met with dismay and anger by many of those affected, who now face being unable to live with partners or children in the UK.
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The new threshold is above the average salary earned by 70% of UK workers and has been characterised as allowing only the richest Britons to choose who they can marry.
The Migration Observatory at Oxford University said it is not clear why the new earnings threshold was chosen, and concluded the rules will leave migrant workers employed in the NHS or other public service roles with more rights than British employees doing the same job.
It said: “Counterintuitively, the package taken together means that, in some circumstances, British workers would face more restrictive rules on family than migrant workers in the same job.”
“For example, health professionals in the NHS who come to the UK on skilled work visas would be able to bring their non-UK citizen partners with them.
“A new restriction on dependants applies to care and senior workers, but not to other health jobs.
“However, the majority of British nurses working in the NHS earn less than £38,700 per year and so would not have the same rights.”
Their analysis also concludes…
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This notice was published: 2023-12-06 15:59:00
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