Home News UK records 30% decline in foreign workers and students amid migration policy change

UK records 30% decline in foreign workers and students amid migration policy change

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Newly released figures from the United Kingdom’s Home Office have shown that the number of foreign workers and students relocating to the country has dropped to nearly 30 per cent this year.

The drop, from 121,000 to 85,200 in the first five months of 2024, aligns with both the Conservative and Labour Parties’ promises to reduce net migration.

This is the most significant decrease since the pandemic, with skilled workers, students, and health and care visa holders constituting the majority of migration to the UK. Last year, the three categories, along with their dependents, collectively received 1.13 million visas.

The figures indicated a significant drop in visa applications across various categories, including a 25.4 per cent overall decrease in visas for foreign workers, students, and their dependants.

The number of dependants brought in by students fell by nearly 80 per cent, while health and care worker visa applications decreased by 75.6 per cent.

The Telegraph of UK reports that the decline was largely attributed to measures implemented by the government, including restrictions on foreign workers and students bringing dependants, increased salary thresholds for skilled workers, and curbs on the shortage of occupation visa schemes.

According to the data, net migration stands at 685,000 for the year ending December 2023, down from a record high of 764,000 in the previous year.

The Conservative government’s objective was to decrease immigration by 300,000, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledging to “halve” migration and continue decreasing it annually if his party is re-elected.

Labour’s manifesto also pledged to reduce net migration, although the party has not specified a target or timeline. The party proposed to link training to immigration, requiring sectors applying for foreign worker visas to first train British citizens.

Home Secretary James Cleverly took to his X handle to attribute the decline to his actions, stating, “I took action to drive down legal migration.

“Data released this week show visa applications have dropped 30 per cent amongst key routes. Labour opposed these actions at every opportunity. If you want to reduce migration, vote Conservative on 4th July”.

The Migration Advisory Committee chairman, Prof Brian Bell, said the Prime Minister has a “fighting chance” of reducing net migration to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

This development comes ahead of the 4 July election, with immigration policy playing a crucial role in the campaigns of both major political parties.

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