In a move that left its citizens blindsided, the UK announced earlier this month that it plans to implement a set of measures that will significantly decrease the country’s net migration.

The new and more stringent measures, which were prompted by the rise in net migration to 745,000 last year, are going to have the following key points:

  1. one, that it will raise the salary requirement for skilled workers to a staggering £38,700 (from £26,200) per year;
  2. two, that it will increase the minimum income requirement for British citizens who plan to bring in their partner or foreign family member to the same aforementioned amount (from £18,600);
  3. three, that it will prohibit care workers from bringing in their family members; four, that it will increase the healthcare surcharge to £1,035; and five, that it will limit the number of students who are on graduate visas to bring in their family members.

Upon seeing the new rules, the citizens and immigrants could not help but wonder if the move would ultimately prove beneficial in the future since it would result in the loss of 300,000 essential workers, which unfortunately includes researchers.

The worry for the scientists

According to C&EN, several intellectuals and scientists have already expressed their worries about the new immigration regulations and how they will affect their lives and their respective departments.

Daniel Rathbone, an interim executive director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, warned that the proposed modifications, along with substantial hikes in visa fees earlier this year, could make the UK less and less of a desirable destination for the best and brightest minds in the world.

Meanwhile, Ben Sheldon, a zoologist at the University of Oxford, said that once the restrictions are put into place,  the country will receive fewer applications from foreign candidates for postdoctoral positions and that there aren’t nearly enough excellent PhD candidates to fill positions only from inside.

In addition to scientists, workers from other sectors have also started to speak out about the issue, stating that the new regulations have caused them to rethink their stay in the UK.

Despite all the woes going around, the government remained keen on setting the plan in motion.

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