James Cleverly Announces Major Crackdown On Migration Following Record Numbers

Foreign workers will need to earn at least £38,700 before they get a visa.
James Cleverly announced the crackdown in a Commons statement.
James Cleverly announced the crackdown in a Commons statement.
Jordan Pettitt - PA Images via Getty Images

Foreign workers will need to earn at least £38,700 to be given a visa to come to the UK under plans to slash net migration.

Home secretary James Cleverly told the House of Commons that the move was part of a five-point plan to bring down the numbers of immigrants coming to the UK by 300,000 a year.

It comes after new figures revealed two weeks ago that 672,000 more people entered the UK than left it in the 12 months to June.

The Tories’ 2019 general election manifesto pledged to bring the figure down to less than 229,000.

Right-wing Tory backbenchers have warned Rishi Sunak that the party could cease to exist unless it keeps its promise to voters.

Cleverly said he was increasing the minimum salary threshold for foreign workers from £26,200 to £38,700, although it will not apply to those coming to work in health and social care.

The minimum income requirement for anyone wanting to move foreign family members with them will also more than double to £38,700.

Overseas care workers will be banned from bringing dependents with them to the UK, while the shortage occupation list, which allows companies to hire overseas workers for 20% less than the going rate, will be scrapped.

The immigration health surcharge, paid by foreigners who use the NHS, will also be increased from £624 to £1,035, while the graduate visa route will also be reviewed amid concerns it is currently being abused.

He told MPs that immigration was “far too high” and that ministers were now “taking more robust action than any government before” to deal with it.

He said the government’s plans would lead to the “biggest ever reduction in net migration” and mean 300,000 a year fewer people coming to the UK in future.

The home secretary added: “We have taken decisive action to reduce legal migration - enough is enough.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Cleverly’s statement was “an admission of total failure for years by the Conservative government - failure on the immigration system and failure on the economy”.

Christina McAnea, general secretary of the Unison trade union, said: “These cruel plans spell total disaster for the NHS and social care. They benefit no one.

“Migrant workers were encouraged to come here because both sectors are critically short of staff. Hospitals and care homes simply couldn’t function without them.

“There’s also a global shortage of healthcare staff. Migrants will now head to more-welcoming countries, rather than be forced to live without their families.

“The government is playing roulette with essential services just to placate its backbenchers and the far-right.”


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