UK government announces new measures to cut migration

The UK government has unveiled a package of measures intended to reduce record net migration to the UK.

Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the following changes in the House of Commons on Monday:

  • Higher salary threshold for work visas: The minimum annual salary required for foreign workers to be eligible for a skilled worker visa will rise from £26,200 to £38,700, which is higher than the current median average salary of a full-time UK worker. Those coming on the Health & Care route and roles on the national pay scale will be exempted from the increase to the salary threshold.
  • Restrictions on dependants: The right for Health & Care visa holders to bring dependants to the UK will be removed. This is expected to reduce the number of people who come to the UK as family members of migrants by more than 300,000.
  • Curbs on social care visas: English care providers wishing to sponsor migrants under the Health & Care route will need to be regulated by the CQC in order to sponsor.
  • Scrapping discount for shortage occupation: The 20% discount on salary requirements for roles listed on the Shortage Occupation List will be removed.
  • Review of the Graduate Route: The Government will investigate the route for abuse with a possibility of changes in the future.

The government said these measures were necessary to address the public's concerns about the impact of migration on public services, housing, and jobs. The latest figures showed that net migration - the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and the people leaving - was 745,000 in 2022, a record high. The government has faced pressure from its own MPs and the public to bring this number down. However, some critics have warned that the new measures could harm the economy, the NHS, and the education sector, which rely heavily on foreign workers and students.

If you would like more information on the new measures please get in contact with Emma Brooksbank, Ashley Stothard or another member of our Business Immigration team.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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