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Recent Changes To The Immigration Rules Summarised

Recent Changes To The Immigration Rules Summarised

Category

Employment, Immigration

Date

March 19, 2024
The read

The recent changes to the Immigration Rules in the UK are significant, they include the biggest jump in salary thresholds we have seen and overhaul of the shortage occupation list.

In this article, Emily Warman and Dominika Cudak have summarised the key changes announced by the government on 14 March 2024.

The following changes will take place from 04 April 2024.

Changes to the Skilled Worker Route:
  • The general salary threshold for Skilled Workers will be raised from £26,200 to £38,700. Going rates are also being raised for some occupation codes (in accordance with the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system). The Skilled Worker will have to be paid the higher of the going rate for their occupation code or the general salary threshold.
  • Changes are being made to update the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system used from SOC 2010 to SOC 2020, which will result in some of the occupation codes changing slightly. It is important to check you are still using the right SOC code for those Skilled Workers you are planning to sponsor after 4 April 2024.
  • Workers sponsored for Health and Care visas, or in occupations where going rates are set using national pay scales, are exempt from the new median salary requirements. Instead, the general threshold is being updated from £26,200 to £29,000. The worker will have to be paid the higher of the going rate for their occupation code or the general salary threshold.
Consequential Changes to Other Work Routes:

The salary requirements for other work routes are being updated:

  • For Senior or Specialist Workers and UK Expansion Workers in the Global Business Mobility routes, the general salary threshold is being updated from £45,800 to £48,500. The Worker will have to be paid the higher of the going rate for their occupation code (which have been updated as well) or the general salary threshold.
  • For Graduate Trainees in the Global Business Mobility routes, the general salary threshold is being updated from £24,220 to £25,410. The Graduate Trainee will have to be paid the higher of the going rate for their occupation code or the general salary threshold.
  • For the Scale-up route, the general salary threshold is being updated from £34,600 to £36,300. The Worker will have to be paid the higher of the going rate for their occupation code (which have been updated as well) or the general salary threshold.
Replacing the Shortage Occupation List:

The Shortage Occupation List included a list of occupation codes which would benefit from a reduced general salary threshold and 70% of the going rate for that occupation code. From 4 April 2024, this list is being replaced with the Immigration Salary List which will not include all the occupation codes previously in the Shortage Occupation List, for example, engineers will no longer be included in the list. The general salary threshold will be increased to £30,960 and the worker must exceed both the new general salary threshold and 70% of the going rate for the occupation code.

Other Notable Changes:
  • The general salary threshold for New Entrants will increase to £30,960 (a New Entrant includes someone who is under the age of 26 or has recently completed studies in the UK on a Student Visa).
  • The minimum income requirement for family/spouse visas will rise to £29,000 from 11 April 2024.