Proposals to cut the migrant salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600 are expected to be approved at a Cabinet meeting on Friday.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel have accepted the proposals that were made by the Migration Advisory Committee last month, reports the Independent.
Social care leaders have argued the proposals do not go far enough, however, and called for a much deeper cut to the threshold to enable care workers to be recruited from abroad.
The threshold change is expected to be adopted along with an Australian-style points based system that prioritises skilled workers.
Reports suggest points accrued will be tradeable with applicants falling short in one area able to compensate for a higher score in another.
People with a job offer of £23,000 or more could be granted entry by gaining points in another area such as language skills.
The new system is expected to take effect from 1 January 2021 when unskilled EU migrants will lose their right to live and work in the UK.
It is believed that the Government may also adopt short-term visas next year to combat shortages for ‘low-skilled workers’ in sectors such as care.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while reducing low-skilled migration and bringing overall numbers down.
“We would like to thank the Migration Advisory Committee for their report which we will carefully consider before setting out further detail on the UK’s future immigration system.”
Karolina Gerlich, CEO of the National Association of Care and Support Workers has criticised the report for describing care workers as low skilled, explaining that this shows a “lack of understanding” of the variety of roles and duties and reinforces the ‘low pay is low skill’ belief held by many people.
“Care work is highly skilled, demanding, complex and challenging. It takes a special type of person to do it well. The knowledge and skills needed to care for people and make their lives better should not be undermined by the proposed migration policy so readily,” she added.
“Social care is about supporting peoples’ wellbeing and saving lives as well as providing help with complex health conditions. That needs to be acknowledged as an essential support for the society.”