UK Bans 120,000 Foreign Health Workers from Bringing Family Members as Dependents
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UK Bans 120,000 Foreign Health Workers from Bringing Family Members as Dependents

The UK government has implemented a ban on international health and care workers, preventing them from bringing their dependents into the country on work visas. This decision, announced by the UK Home Office through its official channels on Monday, is part of the government’s strategy to achieve a significant reduction in migration.

According to the statement, “Care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependents.” The announcement highlighted that approximately 120,000 individuals who arrived last year would no longer meet eligibility criteria under the new regulations.

The Home Office had previously unveiled plans in December to address what it termed “unprecedented” and “unsustainable” levels of legal migration to the UK. Home Secretary James Cleverly outlined further measures, including an increase in the minimum salary requirement for obtaining a visa from £26,200 to £38,700.

“We will stop overseas care workers from bringing family dependents, and we will require firms in England to be regulated by the Health Care Quality Commission to sponsor visas,” stated Cleverly.

Around 120,000 dependents accompanied 100,000 care workers in the year ending September 2023, with only 25% estimated to be employed, raising concerns about their impact on public services and economic growth.

Acknowledging the crucial role of healthcare workers in the National Health Service (NHS) and the health sector, Cleverly emphasized the importance of immigrants making a significant financial contribution. As a result, the annual immigration healthcare charge will increase by 66%, from £624 to £1035, aimed at generating an average of £1.3 billion annually to support the country’s health services.

This decision follows a recent restriction imposed on foreign students, preventing them from bringing family members. The UK Home Office justified this move as necessary to prevent individuals from exploiting the student visa system to gain employment in the UK.

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