STRINGENT new rules on immigration have been announced in an effort to cut the numbers of people legally moving to Britain by 300,000. 

They include raising the minimum income for immigrants by a third to £38,700 – except for health or social care workers – while putting restrictions on people moving to the UK for work bringing over family members.

So what do the new rules mean for you?


If you’re looking to move to the UK for a job outside the health or social care sector, you must be set to earn more than £38,700, unless you plan to work in the health service or as a carer.

That’s an above average salary, more than a fully qualified secondary school teacher in Scotland would have earnt last year.

The National: Border Force (PA)

The Government has also said it will end the policy of allowing employers to pay 20% less than the going rate in shortage occupations.

Under the current law, employees are able to be paid 80% of a typical salary if they work a job judged to be in short supply – these include all jobs in the health service and care sector.

Nuclear scientists are also judged to be in short supply in Scotland.

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Other jobs included in the UK-wide shortage list are most jobs under the umbrella of engineering, web designers, IT specialists, vets, architects, lab technicians, artists, dancers, musicians, graphic designers, welders, bricklayers, roofers, carpenters and some fishing jobs.  

This list will also be reviewed, Home Secretary James Cleverly announced on Monday.

Family and dependents

Care workers will be banned from bringing over their family if they move to the UK for work.

There are concerns this will exacerbate the UK’s persistent lack of care workers.

The Government said around 120,000 dependants accompanied 100,000 care workers in the year to this September – only 25% of whom are estimated to be in work.

Unison has raised concerns this will deter mothers from moving to the UK to work in the care sector because they will be unable to bring their children.


To qualify for NHS treatment in the UK, immigrants must pay what is called a health surcharge.

This is currently set at £470 per year for students and children under 18 and £624 per year for everyone else.

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Cleverly said the £624 charge will be increased by 66% to £1035 per year. It is not clear whether this increase applies for students and children, too.

Student visas

Masters students have already been banned from bringing over family members to the UK.

Cleverly announced on Monday the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route in its entirety.

The graduate route visa allows international students to access a two-year post-university work visa.

The Home Office did not elaborate on how it could be changed other than to “prevent abuse” but Cleverly later suggested the visa should not be a “back door” entrance to the UK workforce.