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UK bans international health, care workers from bringing dependants

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The United Kingdom (UK) government has banned international health and care workers from bringing their dependants to the country on work visas.

Announcing the development in a post on its X account on Monday, the UK Home Office said the move is “part of its plan to deliver the biggest ever cut in migration”.

“From today, care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependants,” the statement reads.

A graphic banner accompanying the post reads “Banned: Overseas care workers from bringing dependants”.

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The statement added that “120,000 people who arrived last year would no longer be eligible under our new rules”.

In December the UK Home Office announced the plan to reduce “unprecedented” and “unsustainable” levels of legal migration to the United Kingdom (UK).

James Cleverly, home secretary, said apart from the ban on bringing dependents, workers would need to earn at least £38,700 to obtain a visa, up from £26,200.

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“We will stop overseas care workers from bringing family, dependants and we will require firms in England to be regulated by the Health Care Quality Commission in order for them to sponsor visas,” he said.

“Approximately, 120,000 dependants accompanied 100,000 care workers in the year ending September 2023, but only 25% of the dependants are estimated to be in work, meaning that a significant number are joining public services rather than helping to grow the economy.

“We recognize that healthcare workers do great work in our NHIS and health sector, but it’s also important that immigrants make a big enough financial contribution. Therefore, it will increase annual immigration healthcare charge by 66% from £624 to £1035 to raise, on average, £1.3 billion for the health services of the country every year.”

The UK had recently restricted foreign students from bringing family members with them.

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The UK Home Office said the development was necessary to stop people from using the student visa as a backdoor route to work in the UK.

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