UK issues tough visa restrictions for Ugandan workers, students

Chevening in Uganda

Chevening in Uganda

Ugandans seeking to work or study in the United Kingdom will lose the privilege of travelling with their families according to new immigration rules issued by the Home Office.

According to the new rules, only students pursuing a postgraduate research programme will be allowed to travel with their families. Workers in health and care, who are said to be the majority of the migrant labour workforce, will not be permitted to take their families.

According to the new rules that take effect next year, for anyone not in the health and care sector to be granted a work visa, they must have a job paying £38,700, up from £26,200.

“Those coming on the health and care visa route will be exempted from the increase to the salary threshold for skilled worker visas, so we can continue to bring the healthcare workers that our care sector and NHS need, and we will exempt those on national pay scales, for example, teachers,” the statement reads in part.

It adds: “Earlier this year, the government announced a package of measures to cut the number of student visas being issued. This included removing the right for international students to bring dependents unless they are on postgraduate research courses and removing the ability for international students to switch onto work routes before their studies are completed.”

An official at the Uganda High Commission in London says new immigration rules banning overseas workers and students from taking their families will affect Ugandans in the UK.

We could not independently verify the total number of Ugandans studying and working in the UK by press time.

Sources at the High Commission in London revealed they had not yet received official communication, adding that the control of entry and exit is sovereign right any country enjoys

“We are still waiting…it will impact the Ugandan and we may get concerns which we will forward but that is a sovereign decision,” one official said

They added: “Here immigration is a very big issue, it was one of the factors behind Brexit. Any country governs the entry and exit. It is their right to do so,” they said

The changes announced on December 4 apply to all countries and are aimed at cutting down the number of immigrants, prioritise domestic labor, and shielding resources from a bulging immigrant population.

The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Ms Kate Airey, while addressing alumni of the Chevening scholarship last week reechoed her country’s commitment to support Ugandans to study in the UK which offers an education that promotes “.

In July, the UK announced plans to increase its visa fees to all persons entering its territories by 15 percent.

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