Government to lower immigrant salary threshold
The government are expected to lower the salary threshold for some migrants at a cabinet meeting this Friday.
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, will announce a number of immigration reforms later this week and is set to follow the advice of the Migration Advisory Committee, who made a number of recommendations last month.
Currently, skilled migrants from outside the EU need to have a job offer with a salary of over £30,000 in order to be granted a visa. When the transition period for leaving the European Union ends on December 31, these rules will also apply to EU migrants.
In a report, released on 28 January, the Migration Advisory Committee argued this threshold should be lowered, allowing more medium-skill workers to qualify for visas. The committee recommended lowering the threshold to £25,600, something which, according to the BBC, the government are set to adopt.
At the time, Priti Patel, thanked the committee for their report and said: “I think it’s important to recognize the British public voted for change when it came to immigration. We are committed to ensuring we have a system…that has the ability to level up across the whole of the UK in a way that immigration policy has failed for too long.”
Lowering the threshold would help to ensure workforces can be maintained after Brexit while also boosting sectors which are struggling with skills shortages.
The construction sector is an example of one such sector. In August 2019, the Construction Industry Training Board released their annual forecast, predicting the growth of the sector and its workforce.
According to this forecast, by 2023, 168,500 new jobs will have to filled, placing increased strain on an industry already struggling with a lack of new recruits.
Ahead of Friday’s announcement, the Home Office said it would set out the specifics of a “firmer and fairer new system” shortly.
“We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while cutting low-skilled immigration and bringing overall numbers down,” the Home Office added.