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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Latest Update: UK Implements Ban on Overseas Health Workers Bringing Dependents

The Home Office emphasized that this measure is expected to lead to the most significant reduction in the country's net migration to date. The UK government sees it as a means of managing what it describes as "unprecedented" and "unsustainable" levels of legal migration.

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The United Kingdom has introduced a ban preventing healthcare workers from bringing dependents to the country.

The Home Office, in a statement on Monday, explained that this new policy aims to reduce migration levels and address potential abuse of the immigration system.

The Home Office emphasized that this measure is expected to lead to the most significant reduction in the country’s net migration to date. The UK government sees it as a means of managing what it describes as “unprecedented” and “unsustainable” levels of legal migration.

According to the Home Office, this revision is intended to encourage businesses to prioritize British talent, invest in their workforce, and discourage over-reliance on migration. The goal is to align salaries with the average full-time salary for these job types.

Interior Secretary James Cleverly outlined that the plan could result in 300,000 fewer people coming to the UK in the coming years. As part of the changes, workers seeking a visa would now need to earn at least £38,700, up from £26,200. Additionally, care workers will be prohibited from bringing dependents starting from April next year.

Cleverly explained, “The first of our five points will be to end the abuse of the care visa. We will stop overseas care workers from bringing family dependants, and we will require firms in England to be regulated by the Health Care Quality Commission to sponsor visas.” The move is aimed at addressing the significant number of dependents, often not in employment, who join public services rather than contributing to economic growth.

“We recognise that healthcare workers do great work in our NHIS and health sector, but it’s also important that immigrants make a big enough financial contribution. Therefore, it will increase the annual immigration healthcare charge by 66% from £624 to £1035 to raise, on average, £1.3 billion for the health services of the country every year.

“Second, we will stop immigration undercutting the salary of British workers. We will increase skilled workers’ earning threshold by a third to £38,000 from next spring in line with the medium, full-term wage for those kinds of jobs.

“Those coming on social and health visas will be exempt, so we will continue to bring healthcare workers.”

The Home Office also made another post on its verified X handle (formerly Twitter) to verify the announcement saying, “From today, care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependants.

“This is part of our plan to deliver the biggest ever cut in migration,” it wrote.

In January 2024, the UK initiated the enforcement of its policy prohibiting Nigerian students and other international students from bringing dependents through the study visa route.

This development follows the warning from the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, stating that the Federal Government has directed health workers seeking opportunities abroad to resign from their positions before embarking on such journeys.

Alausa emphasized that the practice of health workers leaving for other countries in search of better opportunities after applying for a leave of absence is no longer acceptable. The minister attributed the ban on leave of absence for health workers to an executive order issued by President Bola Tinubu, aiming to address the challenge of brain drain, commonly referred to as the ‘Japa Syndrome,’ affecting the nation’s health sector.

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