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Bright Blue has criticised the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations to tighten access to Tier 2 visas for non-EU skilled migrants.

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson said:

“The Government should not implement the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation to increase the minimum salary for obtaining Tier 2 visas to £30,000 for skilled non-EU migrants. It should also reject the proposal to increase the minimum salary foreign graduates need to stay in the UK to £23,000. Our research shows a majority of the public, including Conservative voters, do not want to see a reduction in the number of skilled migrants coming to the UK.

“The new proposed threshold is a relatively high salary for many key sectors and regions. The Government is missing an opportunity to support the Northern Powerhouse by recommending lower minimum salary requirements for different regions outside London and the South East.”

Bright Blue carried out a major research project called A balanced centre-right agenda on immigration, publishing four reports including Understanding how Conservative voters think about immigration, which found that only 15% of Conservative voters wanted fewer skilled professional workers in the UK and more than twice as many wanting more skilled professional workers to move to the UK.

We also published A manifesto for immigration, where we recommended that “the minimum salary that is needed for an international graduate to secure a Tier 2 work visa be regionalised with government deciding new minimum salaries for different regions. The starting salary of £20,500 should be the highest and applied to those working in London.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.