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The United Kingdom is home to some of the best universities in the world, a thriving culture, top-notch education, incredible tourist spots, and a population that is becoming more diverse. Among many other things, the UK is renowned for its numerous contributions to sports, literature, and science. Recent changes to the UK immigration policy have left many wondering why and whether they target any particular individual. Nigeria, interested in moving to the UK, has been following these developments. Read more.

If you are a Nigerian citizen looking to study or work in the UK, this article will help you understand how these changes affect you. To understand these changes, read on.

Understanding the UK immigration policy changes:

Recent changes to the UK’s immigration policy aim to strengthen border control, address economic concerns, and enhance national security through adjustments to visa categories and eligibility criteria.

However, one key factor is whether these changes disproportionately affect Nigerian applicants.

First and foremost, economic considerations are frequently a driving force behind changes in immigration policies. In the case of the UK, the changes could be in response to national challenges, such as a need for specific skills or a desire to reduce reliance on labour markets.

Secondly, governments frequently change immigration policies in response to perceived national security risks. The UK’s changes may be motivated by a desire to tighten security and reduce potential risks. The changes may improve the UK’s national security and the standard of life for its citizens and immigrants.

Impact of UK immigration policy changes on Nigerians moving to the UK:

UK’s new immigration policy may indirectly affect Nigerian citizens moving to the UK. With updated visa requirements, Nigerians can still pursue their UK dreams—travel, work, study, and thrive!

Immigration policy changes are global trends, geopolitical shifts, and diplomatic relations. Nations are constantly reassessing and adapting regulations to keep up with changing circumstances. It is essential to consider recent policy changes in the UK within the broader global context.

New Immigration Rules for UK Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled Worker visa’s minimum salary will increase to £38,700 in Spring 2024. Healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, and care workers, and those on national pay scales, like teachers, are not subject to this salary requirement change.

The changes will align the salary threshold for skilled workers with the median wage for eligible roles.

The UK immigration policy changes for skilled workers in 2024 will not eliminate the 30% salary reduction for new entrants into the job market, including those under 26 and post-doctoral researchers.

There have been questions about whether the £38,700 income requirement applies to the skilled worker visa extension. 

The new salary threshold will not apply if you apply for another Skilled Worker visa (e.g., to change employers), extend your stay, or apply for permanent residency.

New Immigration Rules for UK Spouse’s Visa

From Spring 2024, UK partners of first-time spouse visa applicants must earn at least £29,000 as per the new immigration rules. Further increases to £34,500, then £38,700. 

The minimum income increase won’t affect those on the 5-year path to ILR with a spouse/family visa. Additionally, those who received a fiance visa before the change will not need to meet the higher income threshold to apply for a partner visa.

New UK Immigration Policy for UK Student Visas

UK's new immigration policy for student visa.

Starting January 1, 2024, international students can only bring their dependents if they apply for a PhD or a research-based higher degree.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is reviewing the Graduate Visa scheme. To safeguard the standards and reputation of UK higher education. We will keep you informed about the outcome of the review.

Changes to Visitor Visa

The prohibition on visitors from working directly with clients in the UK as part of an intra-corporate activity is no longer in place. The new rule requires client-facing activity to be incidental to the visitor’s overseas job and not result in the offshoring of a project or service.

Visitors to the UK can work remotely as long as it is not the primary reason for their visit.

Scientists, researchers, and academics conducting research in the UK as part of their visit are permitted to enter as visitors.

Interestingly, the legal experts travelling to the UK can now offer advice, participate in arbitrations, serve as arbitrators, mediators, or expert witnesses, attend conferences, and perform other authorized legal services. Additionally, speakers at conferences may receive compensation.

Also, no special visa is required for visitors to perform authorized paid engagement work while visiting the UK. 

Nonetheless, the engagement had to be planned before moving to the UK and completed within 30 days of arriving.

Conclusion

Nigeria is not a specific target of the most recent changes to the UK’s immigration law. However, it is impossible to ignore how they will affect Nigerian applicants. To successfully navigate the updated regulations, it’s expedient for you to stay informed about the constantly changing policies. In summary, the UK has a place for you, and we can provide professional guidance. Contact us.

Stay Alerted

Chinwe Nwani

Author Chinwe Nwani

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