• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Concern for Nigerians as UK raises minimum income requirement for family visas

Concern for Nigerians as UK raises minimum income requirement for family visas

The UK has raised the minimum income requirement for family visas to £29,000. Residents earning below will no longer be able to bring families into the UK

The UK Home Office made the announcement Thursday stating that the salary threshold for a family visa is expected to increase incrementally to £38,700 by early 2025.

The government says the decision “will ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can financially support.”

The increase, which marks a 61 percent rise from the former threshold of £18,000 is part of the UK’s overarching goal of slashing migration numbers which hit record levels last year.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that net migration to the UK was 745,000 in 2022, up from 184,000 in 2019 before the pandemic, mainly driven by an increase in non-EU citizens.

“It is a firm approach, but it is a fair approach,” says James Cleverly, UK home secretary.

This decision, which was initially made in December 2023 is the final stage in what the UK considers the biggest-ever cut in legal migration and an immigration system.

Since then, the UK has banned international students and care workers from bringing in dependants, and increased the skilled worker visa salary threshold by 48 percent.

“Taken together, the measures we’ve introduced will radically reduce legal migration. 300,000 people who arrived in the UK last year would no longer be eligible to do so under these new rules,” says Secretary Cleverly.

This radical move could cause problems for Nigerians living in the UK hoping to bring in family.

In April 2023, The UK government implemented a 9.2 percent increase in the national minimum wage, however, it falls thousands of pounds below the threshold for minimum salary earners.

The average Nigerian of above 23 years working in the UK is entitled to a minimum pay of £10.42 per hour resulting in an estimated annual income of £21,798, and £26,200 for skilled workers- Over £7,000 below the threshold.

Despite this shortfall, some fair even worse, as official data reveal that 93.6 percent of employee jobs still need to be covered by the National Minimum Wage in the UK.