UK Sees 30% Drop in Foreign Workers and Students Amid Migration Policy Changes


New figures from the United Kingdom Home Office reveal a substantial decline in the number of foreign workers and students moving to the UK, dropping from 121,000 to 85,200 in the first five months of this year. This decline aligns with promises from both the Conservative and Labour parties to reduce net migration.

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The data highlights the largest decrease since the pandemic, impacting skilled workers, students, and health and care visa holders, who traditionally constitute a significant portion of UK migration. Last year, these groups, along with their dependents, accounted for a total of 1.13 million visas issued.

The Telegraph attributes the decline to various government measures, including restrictions on bringing dependents for foreign workers and students, increased salary thresholds for skilled workers, and limitations on shortage occupation visa schemes.

Net migration for the year ending December 2023 stood at 685,000, down from a record high of 764,000 the previous year. The Conservative government aims to further reduce immigration by 300,000, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledging ongoing reductions annually if re-elected.

Labour’s manifesto also includes commitments to lower net migration, advocating for training linked to immigration and prioritizing British citizens in sectors applying for foreign worker visas. However, specific targets or timelines have not been specified.

Home Secretary James Cleverly attributed the decline to government actions aimed at reducing legal migration, emphasizing a 30% drop in visa applications across key routes. He tweeted, “If you want to reduce migration, vote Conservative on 4th July.”

Migration Advisory Committee chairman Prof. Brian Bell believes the Prime Minister has a strong chance of returning net migration to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. The figures reveal significant decreases across visa categories, including a 25.4% drop in overall visas for foreign workers, students, and their dependents.

These developments precede the upcoming July 4 election, where immigration policies remain central to the campaign strategies of both major parties.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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