Personal Immigration

Expert panel considering Welsh migration rules

The Home Office is calling on UK immigration experts to determine whether migration rules should be different in Wales after the UK leaves the EU.

The assessment comes as part of government consultations on a plan to implement a minimum £30,000 salary requirement for any skilled migrant seeking a five-year UK visa. Attentions have turned to Wales after one of the UK’s leading economists, Professor Jonathan Portes, predicted that a salary threshold on UK migration would have more of an impact on the Welsh economy than anywhere else in the UK.

Following advice from Prof Portes, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has requested that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review any evidence that salary thresholds for migrants seeking a UK visa could have an economic impact on Wales and the wider UK.

Think-tank

At the end of 2018, the government published long-delayed plans for a post-Brexit UK immigration system, which included a 12-month consultation on the £30,000 threshold. Shortly after the announcement, the Welsh government commissioned Professor Portes to take an in-depth look at how the salary threshold could potentially impact on Wales.

The report from Prof Portes highlighted the need for a relaxation of the laws around UK immigration and a lower financial threshold for those seeking a five-year UK visa. In the report, Prof Portes claimed that a threshold of £20,000 would modestly mitigate any potential impact on the economy.

UK migrant roles

Elsewhere in the report, Prof Portes said that many UK migrants perform “semi-skilled” and “medium skilled” jobs, which are vital for the sustainability of the economy but do not pay close to the £30,000 threshold proposed by the Home Office.

Following the report, Sajid Javid MP has written to government advisers to ask them to consider whether salary thresholds are applicable to the entire UK, or whether there is a need for greater variation on a region-by-region basis. Javid then pointed out that is was “crucial” for a new immigration system to work in the best interests of the entirety of the UK.

If you are currently seeking a UK visa or are concerned that a salary threshold could affect your status in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact Richmond Chambers today for a consultation.

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