The U.K. government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, announced a change to the requirements for foreigners to enter the country. The measure is part of an effort by conservatives to curb the increase in immigration. One of the new regulations stipulates that the minimum salary necessary to obtain a skilled work visa increased to $48,860 annually (over 50% more than it was previously).
The announcement was made by Home Secretary James Cleverly, who maintained that Sunak’s government will focus on defending the country from immigration and recognized that the current level of foreign arrivals is soaring. "Immigration is too high. We’re taking action to bring it down," Cleverly wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Immigration is too high.
We’re taking action to bring it down. pic.twitter.com/ba9hMAB7u4
— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) December 4, 2023
'Enough is enough,' says Sunak
The measure was also defended by the prime minister. Rishi Sunak published an opinion column in The Sun in which he explained, "If you can’t contribute to the U.K., you’re not coming to the U.K." Furthermore, Sunak acknowledged that citizens have a right to be upset about increased immigration. "Enough is enough — it’s time to get control of immigration once and for all. This is not about our generosity or openness as a country," Sunak said.
Likewise, the conservative explained that the number of people arriving from other countries places a burden on the United Kingdom's public system. He noted that the British are welcoming to immigrants, but assured that "that cannot come at the cost of not controlling our borders. Huge numbers of migrants are not fleeing persecution or war."
Finally, he noted that he hopes that his new immigration policy will result in a significant decrease in the arrival of immigrants. “Our plan will deliver the biggest-ever cut in net migration and curb abuse,” he explained.