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Overseas care workers can no longer bring dependents to UK

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Shillong, March 13: As part of the UK government’s plan to bring down unsustainable levels of legal migration and tackle visa abuse, overseas care workers coming to the country will now be restricted from bringing dependents, starting from Monday itself.

The implementation of the move means a total of 300,000 people eligible to come to the UK last year, will not be able to do so now, a Home Office statement said on Monday.

In addition, care providers in England acting as sponsors for migrants will also be required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) — the industry regulator for Health and Social Care — to crack down on worker exploitation and abuse within the sector.

As 120,000 dependents accompanied 100,000 workers on this visa route last year, British Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “…we cannot justify inaction in the face of clear abuse, manipulation of our immigration system and unsustainable migration numbers”.

“Our plan is robust but fair – protecting British workers while ensuring the very best international talent can work and study here, to add value to our society and grow the economy,” he said.

According to the Home Office, there is “clear evidence” that care workers have been offered visas under false pretences. This includes travelling thousands of miles for jobs that simply don’t exist or exploiting them by paying far below the minimum wage required for their work while undercutting British workers.

These changes came into effect with the government set to lay rules in Parliament on March 14 to prevent the “undercutting of British workers”.

Further, Cleverly will also commission a review of the graduate route for international students to prevent abuse and protect the integrity and quality of higher education in the country.

“He will ask the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to ensure that demand for the graduate route, through which a total of 175,872 visas have been granted since it was established, is fit for purpose and focused on attracting the best and brightest to the UK,” the Home Office said.

The move comes after an analysis by the MAC showed that the number of foreign postgraduate students attending institutions with the lowest UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) entry requirements has increased by over 250 per cent between 2018 and 2022.

The Home Office also announced that starting April 4, the minimum salary required for those arriving on the Skilled Worker visa will rise from GBP 26,200 to GBP 38,700 — a 48 per cent increase. Further, the minimum income requirement for family visas will also go up, starting at GBP 29,000 from April 11, and by early 2025, this will be increased to GBP 38,700. (IANS)

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