• Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Foreign health workers may be allowed to bring just one relative to UK

Representational image (iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

THE government is believed to be planning a crackdown on the number of dependants foreign health and care workers can bring to the UK.

They will be allowed to bring just one relative under the new curbs being finalised, according to a Times report.

Out of the 282,742 health and care visas issued to health and care workers in the year to June, 151,774 were issued to their dependants.

While 35,091 Indian health and care workers brought 47,432 relatives during the period, 25,027 Nigerians brought 40,726 dependants.

However, the planned curbs were unlikely to be announced until later in the year due to a lack of cabinet agreement, the report said.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data revealed on Thursday (23) that the annual net migration to the UK hit a record of 745,000 last year.

High levels of legal migration have for more than a decade dominated the UK’s political landscape and will likely be a key issue again in the general expected next year.

For the year ending December 2022, the ONS revised up the net migration figure to 745,000, a new record high and up 139,000 on its previous estimate.

It said the majority of immigration was now non-EU nationals, with the increase in the year to June mainly driven by migrants coming for work, particularly to fill shortages in the health and social care sectors.

The top three non-EU nationalities for immigration in the year to June were Indian, Nigerian and Chinese, it said.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman and immigration minister Robert Jenrick had favoured a cap on care visas and a ban on relatives. But Downing Street is understood to have offered a compromise of capping the number of dependants to one per visa after objections from the health department, the newspaper said.

Eastern Eye

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