By Biodun Busari
The United Kingdom is considering the reduction in the number of dependants that foreign care workers are allowed to bring for relocation as there are plans to reduce immigration.
According to a British daily, the Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay, revealed this stressing that his colleague, the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, was mulling a ban on dependant numbers as an option to reduce figures.
The Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, has proposed that foreign workers could be banned from bringing their family members to the UK or allowed to come with one relative.
Recall that the UK has announced the dependant visa ban policy on foreign students starting in January 2024.
The policy which was instituted under former Home Secretary Suella Braverman would ban foreign students from bringing family members with them to Britain unless they are on postgraduate research courses.
Speaking on a similar policy on foreign workers, Barclay said, “I absolutely support bringing the numbers down. We clearly need to go further, faster.
“We’re taking action, for example, on dependants, so around 150,000 student dependants where that route has been closed. That announcement has been made.”
He added, “One of the areas where I know the home secretary will want to look is dependants of those coming into the care sector.
“So, there are a range of options. The home secretary … it’s quite right to say we need to bring those numbers down.
“There’s action that we have already taken such as on student dependants, where a tighter approach is being applied, but clearly we need to go further and I absolutely support the home secretary in doing so.”
Reports have shown that most foreign care workers have come from Nigeria, India and Zimbabwe, according to Skills for Care, a government-funded agency.
Since the Home Office added care workers to the shortage occupation list, 14% of care workers in England are now from non-EU countries (excluding the UK), while 7% are from the EU.