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More than 107,000 petition against 'inhumane' Home Office visa wage increases

More than 107,000 people have now signed petitions urging the Home Office to scrap its higher minimum wage thresholds for foreign worker and family visas.

The Government announced in December that there would be a wave of new restrictions on people coming to the UK, and their family members, in a bid to bring down legal immigration.

An increase in the minimum salary required for those arriving on a Skilled Worker Visa, from £26,200 to £38,700, will start from April 4.

The wage needed for those wanting to bring family to the UK will also increase in stages from April 11.

From this date, British workers will need to be earning at least £29,000 a year to bring dependents from abroad to the UK on a family visa - a large increase from the existing £18,600 minimum salary needed.

The threshold is set to rise even further, to £34,500 before finally reaching £38,700 in 2025.

Change.org has been tracking the numerous petitions opposing the visa changes.

Some 107,689 people had signed appeals on Monday morning, a spokesman for the website said.

A further petition on the Government’s website, which labelled the changes to family visas as "inhumane", has received more than 51,000 signatures.

If that petition reaches 100,000 signatures by June 13 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The petition said: “Currently the financial requirements to bring your spouse to the UK is £18,600 per year and now the Government wants to more than double it.

“Most people in the UK don’t make that per year. We believe this policy punishes those who fall in love with someone with a different nationality.”

The petition added that many people may now "face the choice of a lifetime without their partner or leaving their own country because they fell in love and can’t meet the financial requirement for the family visa".

According to analysis from the Migration Observatory, based at the University of Oxford, around 50 per cent of UK workers already do not earn enough to bring a family member from overseas, as they earn under £29,000.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has slammed the Government's new rule as an "economic own goal" and detrimental for the capital.

The Home Office has said the "robust changes" will curb abuse of the migration system, and ensure those choosing to make the UK their home can afford to do so.James Cleverly said: "I’ve been clear that migration is too high and we must get back to sustainable levels. Last year I set out robust measures to reduce the numbers coming into our country – tightening the rules on care workers, skilled workers, and making sure that people can support their family members that they bring over.

"It is a firm approach, but a fair one, and gives those affected time to prepare whilst ensuring that migration comes down. The British people want to see action, not words.

"We are delivering the change we promised and which they expect, lifting pressure on public services and protecting British workers with the utmost urgency."