New UK Immigration Rules Announced: Key Changes Effective 4 April 2024


The UK government has published a significant update to their immigration rules, impacting various visa categories. Here’s a breakdown of the most crucial changes taking effect on 4 April 2024:

Increased Salary Thresholds:

  • Skilled Worker Visa: The minimum salary requirement jumps significantly from £26,200 to £38,700 per year for any new migrant applying for the Skilled Worker visa.
  • Health and Care Workers: are exempt from the new median salary requirements but will have to be paid a minimum salary of £29,000.
  • Global Business Mobility: Salary thresholds for various sub-categories within this route also see an increase:
    • Senior or Specialist Workers: £48,500
    • Graduate Trainees: £25,410
    • Scale-up: £36,300
  • Poultry Workers in Seasonal Worker Route: Their pay now aligns with the Skilled Worker rate, requiring a minimum of £38,700 annually or £15.88 per hour.

Partner and Child Visas (Appendix FM):

  • Minimum Income Requirement: The minimum income needed to sponsor a partner and/or child for a 5-year visa increases to £29,000.
  • Simplified Income Assessment: The separate minimum income requirement for a child is eliminated.

Other Key Changes:

  • Going Rate Calculation: The method for determining the going rate for specific occupations shifts from the 25th percentile to the median.
  • Exemptions from Increased General Threshold Rates of £38,700: Certain groups are exempt from the new  general thresholds and median salary requirements:
    • Health and Care Workers: Their salary threshold, rising to £29,200. The 25th percentile method continues to apply.
    • Existing Skilled Worker Applicants: Those who applied before 4 April 2024, and are seeking extensions, employer changes, or settlement before 4 April 2030, are exempt from the general threshold but will need to be paid at least £29,000.
    • Occupations with National Pay Scales: Their salary is determined using the latest ONS data.

Additional Updates:

  • Immigration Salary List (ISL): This replaces the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).
  • Discount for Listed Occupations: The 20% discount previously applied to occupations on the SOL is removed.
  • Discounted Rates Remain: Exceptions include PhD holders, new labour market entrants, and occupations with national pay scales.
  • Skilled Worker Supplementary Employment: This is now applicable to all occupations under the Skilled Worker route.
  • Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Update: The system used to categorise occupations is being revised, and relevant appendices will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Seasonal Worker Pay: Their minimum wage aligns with the national minimum wage.

Changes to Appendix Electronic Travel Authorisation

  • The process for getting an ETA started in October 2023 for people from Qatar, then expanded to other countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, and more in 2024.
  • The requirement would also apply to those seeking entry under the Temporary Work – Creative Worker concession in advance of their travel to the UK.
  • The changes include provisions for an exemption to the ETA requirement for British Overseas Territories Citizens.

Earlier Change (Effective 11 March 2024):

  • Care Worker Dependants: Dependents of individuals sponsored under care worker or senior care worker visas cannot join them in the UK if the sponsorship began after 11 March, 2024. Exceptions exist for:
    • Existing Care Workers: Those already in the route before 11 March 2024, can be joined by their dependants. This includes extending their stay, changing employers within these specific occupations (SOC codes 6145 & 6146), and applying for settlement.
    • Individuals already in the UK: Those already residing in the UK with a visa allowing dependants who switch to a care worker or senior care worker visa after 11 March 2024, cannot switch their dependants’ visa status or have them join them in the UK.

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