• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Visa applications fall following curbs

Home secretary James Cleverly said the new numbers show that the Conservative party’s measures to curb immigration is working

Picture for representation. (Photo: iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

IMMIGRATION remains a hot topic in the upcoming election and finds prominence in the manifestos of both the Conservatives and Labour.

The recent curbs on student visas by the Sunak government have led to a 30 per cent fall in applications.

The number of students with dependents applying has dropped by almost 80 per cent, Daily Mail reports.

In January the dependent visa facility was restricted only to research students.

The overall number of migrants and their dependants who applied for three main types of visa fell by nearly a third year-on-year, Home Office reports.

It included a 79 per cent drop in the number of student dependents.

In the first five months of 2023, 46,700 student dependents applied to come here – compared with just 9,700 in the same period this year.

There is also a 22 per cent fall in the number of foreign care workers who applied to bring family members to the UK.

In the first five months this year it was 61,600, down from 78,600 in the same period last year.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said the new numbers show that the Conservative party’s measures to curb immigration is working.

In its election manifesto, the Conservative Party has pledged further curbs, including introducing a migration cap which would bring numbers down every year.

Office for National Statistics estimates indicate that in 2023, net migration – the difference between the number of migrants coming to live in Britain and those emigrating – was 685,000.

Sunak government’s recent moves could bring it down to as low as 150,000 a year, an expert told Daily Mail.

Apart from curbs on student visa, the other steps taken by Sunak government to curb immigration include increasing the minimum salary requirement for some skilled work visas by nearly 50 per cent, as well as increasing the salary requirements for skilled workers.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has said her party wants to see significant changes across the economy to reduce reliance on overseas workers.

It plans to pass a new law to force different parts of the government to draw up skills improvement plans in high-migration sectors.

It is not yet clear how these plans would be enforced.

Labour leader Keir Starmer had last month said his party will create a new Border Security Command to tackle people-smuggling gangs bringing migrants across the Channel.

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