May 25, 2024
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UK

Exploring Your Options: What Expenses to Expect When Relocating to the UK for Study, Employment, or Family Reunification

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  1. Rising Visa Expenses :
    • The UK administration has introduced notable hikes in the income thresholds for different visas, aiming to curb immigration into the nation.
  2. Skilled Employment Permits :
    • Under the points-based system (PBS) in the UK, individuals pursuing work opportunities now need a job offer that meets a minimum salary threshold of £38,700, marking a substantial jump of almost 50% from the previous requirement of £26,200.
  3. Special Cases and Issues :
    • While professions like healthcare, social care, and teachers on national pay scales are exceptions to this salary threshold, overseas care workers are restricted from bringing family members under these regulations. This has sparked concerns about possible family separations arising from the heightened income criteria.
  4. Income Requirements for Family Visas :
    • To reside with a family member in the UK for over six months, individuals must meet a minimum income threshold. Initially planned to elevate to £38,700, the government revised it to £29,000 due to concerns. However, this threshold is slated to rise to £34,500 and eventually £38,700 in the upcoming years.
  5. Exclusions and Renewals :
    • Renewing an existing family visa doesn’t necessitate meeting the updated income threshold. Nevertheless, applicants must showcase proficient English skills and fulfill the income criterion.
  6. Securing Points for Skilled Worker Visas :
    • Prospective skilled worker visa holders must amass 70 points, with 50 points attributed to securing a job offer exceeding a minimum skill level and demonstrating English proficiency. The remaining 20 points can be acquired through a higher salary, employment in a sector with labor shortages, or holding a pertinent PhD.
  7. Shortage Occupation List and Visa Charges :
    • The government’s “shortage occupation list” aids employers in addressing critical sectoral vacancies. Nonetheless, the list is shrinking, and the provision allowing employers to pay foreign workers 80% of the standard rate has been eliminated. Furthermore, visa seekers are required to pay a healthcare surcharge for each year of their residency, with the regular fee rising to £1,035 per year starting April 2024.
  8. Updates to Student Visas and Their Impact :
    • While the costs of student visas have not increased, the UK has introduced alterations regarding who international students can accompany. Starting January 2024, unless enrolled in a designated research program, students cannot bring their dependents. However, graduates can still benefit from a post-study work visa allowing them to remain in the UK for two years after completing their degree, or three years for doctoral degree holders.
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