A leaked Home Office paper has revealed that ministers are set to reduce the number of people able to access UK visas for family reasons.
Seen by the Guardian, the paper detailed that only the children or parents of immigrants resident in the UK will be allowed the necessary UK visas to join them.
Estimates from the Home Office suggest that around 49,000 UK visas were issued to non-European Union migrants last year for family reasons.
The changes are in policy are intended to bring an end to the supposed abuse of the system by more distant relatives.
However, Whitehall officials have been warned that the move is considered to be highly controversial.
Damian Green, UK immigration minister, suggested that there could even be some protests from the Commonwealth countries, where tensions are already high due to the cap on UK visas skilled workers.
According to the paper, the leaked source also revealed that ministers are looking to scrap the right of appeal for thousands of skilled migrant workers in the UK who are keen to extend or renew their UK visa under the points-based system.
The news follows a number of efforts by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government to reduce the number of people immigrating to the UK.
Earlier this year, the prime minister David Cameron declared his intention to reduce the flow of UK immigration from to tends of thousands of people a year.
To this end, UK visas for skilled workers have been capped at an annual limit of 21,700.
UK spouse visas are also being targeted in the crackdown on UK immigration, with officials reporting 155 arrests in regards to sham marriages over the past year.