From January 1st 2024, tough new restrictions will come into effect on Student Visas and their ability to bring family members into the UK.
The only students where there will be any concessions will be on postgraduate research courses or government-funded scholarships. This is an attempt by the government to tackle rising immigration.
In the year ending September 2023, there were over 152,000 visas for dependents issued to students and that is a rise of 930% since 2019, when just under 15,000 were issued. During the same period, there were 486,000 student visas issued, with half of these coming from Indian and Chinese nationals, the next most popular countries are Nigeria, Pakistan and the US.
On completion of their degree, a student can stay for a further 2 years on a graduate visa, that is increased to 3 years if it’s a doctorate.
Seasonal worker visas remain the same with anywhere between 45,000 and 55,000 horticultural visas being allocated for fruit picking season and approx. 2,000 pre-Christmas for poultry workers.
These new rules are part of a wider scheme to cut net immigration which reached 672,000 by the end of June 2023. The total number arriving in the UK during that time was 1,180,000 and approximately half a million left. The majority of those arriving and now from outside of the UK, with the greatest numbers arriving from India, just over a quarter of a million, then Nigeria with around 141,000 and just under 90,000 Chinese.
From Spring 2024, the rules are changing around the salary offer that will need to be made for working in the UK, this rises from £26,200 to £38,700, an increase of almost 50%, unless the role applied for is on the shortage of workers list.
If you are looking to recruit this year or you are seeking work and can provide a right of proof to work certificate, get in touch with one of our team to discuss how our team can support you or your business.