THE Home Office is planning to make it more difficult for partners, spouses, children, and parents of British residents to join them in the UK in an effort to reduce record net migration, reported The Times.
Home secretary Suella Braverman wants to raise the minimum income requirement for family members of British residents to join them in the UK. She is concerned that some nationalities, in particular Indians, Pakistanis, and Nigerians, are using the current rules to bring their families to the UK in large numbers.
Currently, someone with indefinite leave to remain can bring their partner if they have a combined annual income of at least £18,600.
Data from the Office for National Statistics published last week showed a net 606,000 people came to Britain in the year ending December 2022. Previous data covering the year ending June 2022 had shown a net figure of 504,000.
Meanwhile, the Home Office is facing fresh pressure over its failure to deport foreign criminals. Recent figures show that there are nearly 12,000 foreign criminals who are eligible for deportation, but still living in the UK.
To cut net migration, Tory MPs want ministers to introduce an increase in the financial requirements for residents to bring family with them.
According to The Times report, ministers want to raise the eligibility thresholds for bringing children and parents. There is no income threshold required for parents to move to the UK to join their child. Parents are simply required to financially support themselves ‘without claiming public funds’.
Ministers are concerned about the increasing number of unaccompanied children who are arriving in the UK on small boats. They argue that these children are being used as a way to gain a family visa. Last year, more than 5,000 children arrived in the country through this route.
The government already announced plans to remove the right of some international students to bring family members into the country.
A source told the newspaper that the Treasury blocked proposals to make it harder for businesses to recruit foreign workers.
Braverman and immigration minister Robert Jenrick proposed to make it harder for businesses to recruit foreign workers by raising the minimum salary threshold for migrants to qualify for Britain’s points-based immigration system from £27,000 to £33,000.
They argue that it is necessary to reduce net migration and to ensure that only skilled workers are coming to the UK.
The Treasury is concerned that raising the minimum salary threshold would make it more difficult for businesses to find workers they need, which could lead to job losses and higher prices for consumers.
Raising the minimum salary threshold would make it harder for businesses to compete with other countries for talent.
The Treasury and the Home Office are currently in negotiations over the minimum salary threshold.
“A minimum salary of £33,000 would be a logical place to raise it to because that’s more closely aligned with skilled work, but it’s not found favour with the Treasury,” a source told The Times.