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UK new Visa rules and how they affect Nigerians, other immigrants

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The UK government on Monday took a bold step in curbing the spate of immigration into the country by announcing stricter visa rules.

A statement issued by the Home Office said the new plan to slash migration levels will deliver the biggest-ever reduction in the country’s net migration.

Interior Secretary, James Cleverly, said his plan would result in 300,000 fewer people coming to the UK in the coming years.

The development, in its wake, gathered massive reactions with anxiety expressed over what it portends to migration plans to the UK.

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In the latest figures by the UK Office of National Statistics, Nigeria is ranked number 2, accounting for 141,000, in the non-EU nationalities that have arrived in the UK in the last one year.

Others include Chinese, Pakistani, Ukrainian and others.

Here are, however, the new changes in the visa rules aimed at curbing immigration into the UK:

1. Minimum salary spike for skilled workers visa

The £26,000 minimum wage criterion has been raised to £38,700 in order to qualify for a skilled worker visa. This is a 50% rise.

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2. Health and Care Visa

In order to meet the NHS staffing needs, health and social care visas will be exempt from the new, higher criterion. However, caregivers won’t be permitted to bring their dependents any more.

3. Shortage Occupation List

The government says it will also review the occupation shortage list and reduce the number of occupations on it. A “shortage occupation list” exists to help employers fill certain roles. These positions have a lower wage requirement, which makes it simpler for candidates to accrue the points needed to be granted a visa. This is about to change because of the new policy, which does away with the 20% minimum pay cut that was previously provided to applicants for visas in shortage occupations.

4. Family Visa

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The minimum amount needed to obtain a family visa will rise from £18,600 to £38,700.

5. Student Visa

The Migration Advisory Committee has been asked by the government to review the graduate route. Therefore, it is anticipated that adjustments to the Students Visa will be made soon.

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