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UK PM announces curbs to cut immigration rate, bans international students from bringing families

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London | December 5, 2023 1:50:30 AM IST
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday announced a series of new steps to crack down on soaring immigration in the country.

Sunak described the new measures as the government''s ''radical action'' to bring down the immigration rate, adding the steps would ensure that immigration benefits the UK.

As part of the new measures, the government would curb international students from bringing their families to UK unless they are pursuing postgraduate research degrees and hiking the minimum salary that skilled foreign workers will need to earn if they want a visa to work in the country.

Taking to X, PM Sunak said, "Immigration is too high. Today we''re taking radical action to bring it down. These steps will make sure that immigration always benefits the UK."

He posted, "IMMIGRATION ACTION, BANNING overseas students from bringing their families to the UK, unless they are on postgraduate research degrees, STOPPING immigration undercutting British workers, SCRAPPING the 20% going rate salary discounts offered for shortage occupations."

Net migration to Britain reached record levels last year, official figures showed, putting pressure on the UK government that has made the issue a political touchstone, CNN reported in May.

Britain saw a net migration of 606,000 people in 2022, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, with 1.2 million people arriving in the country and about half that number leaving.

CNN reported that despite pledges from successive Conservative governments to drastically reduce the numbers of people moving to the UK, particularly in the wake of Brexit - a rupture that was touted by its proponents as a necessary step for Britain to "take control" of its borders.

The vast majority of people arriving - 925,000 - were non-EU nationals, and around one in 12 of those were asylum seekers, included for the first time in the ONS'' annual release.

"The main drivers of the increase were people coming to the UK from non-EU countries for work, study and for humanitarian purposes," Jay Lindop, Director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, said, according to CNN.

Last year, Indian nationals were issued the largest number of UK study, work and visitor visas, according to UK Immigration Statistics.

More than 258,000 Indian nationals received visit visas in the year ending June 2022 -- a 630 per cent increase compared to the previous year (when travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were still in place), read UK Immigration Statistics. (ANI)

 
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