Threshold increase for Skilled Worker visa and Family spouse visa


Threshold increase for Skilled Worker visa and Family spouse visa

Date confirmed on threshold increase for Skilled Worker visa and Family/spouse visa On 4 December 2023, the UK Government announced a package of measures to reduce net migration. Tom Pursglove, the Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, announced yesterday (30 January 2024) disclosing the timeline for the implementation of these new rules.

The Immigration Rules will be laid on 19 February for changes on the Health Care workers; and on 14 March for the Skilled Worker route and Family route (Appendix FM).

Below are the main five changes that will be made to the Immigration Rules along with their respective implementation dates:

  1. Social care workers will not be allowed to bring dependants on their visa – 11 March 2024.
  2. The baseline minimum salary to be sponsored for a Skilled Worker visa will rise from £26,200 to £38,700 (but not for the Health and Care Worker visa) – 4 April 2024.
  3. Changes to the shortage occupation list: reduce the number of jobs on the list – the new list will be announced on 14 March 2024. The 20% going rate discount for those shortage occupations will be removed which will take effect under the Skilled Worker route on 4 April 2024.
  4. Increasing the minimum income requirement threshold in stages for family visas, starting at £29,000 from 11 April. The Home Office will incrementally increase the threshold to £34,500, and finally to £38,700 by early 2025.
  5. The Migration Advisory Committee will review the Graduate visa, a two-year unsponsored work permit for overseas graduates of British universities.

Additional information related to the Skilled Worker visa

The higher £38,700 salary threshold for the Skilled Worker visa will not apply to people already in the Skilled work route, and applications made before the rules change, will not be subject to the new £38,700 salary threshold when they change employment, extend, or settle”, according to the Minister for Legal Migration.

In certain circumstances, people can be paid a little less than the baseline minimum salary and still be sponsored for a Skilled Worker visa. This includes “new entrants”, such as people aged under 26 and post-doctoral researchers. There has been no indication that this would change, except for the significant revisions to the shortage occupation list.

Additional information related to the Family visa (Appendix FM)

Under the current rules, the amount of savings required would automatically increase as the headline income threshold rises. If nothing in the rules were to change other than the income threshold rising to £29,000, that would push up the maximum savings required from £62,500 to £88,500. But there has been no announcement about this either way and the Government may not have decided on the appropriate level of savings: it is reportedly “consulting over whether to increase it”.

As with the main income rule, people generally need to have had the required amount of savings in their account(s) for six months before applying.

From 31 January, the government is also enhancing how the UK does business with the rest of the world. Reforms to the visit visa will be implemented, expanding the permitted activities to make it
easier to do business in the UK.

Tom Pursglove suggested the UK government will continue to keep all aspects of the immigration and border system under review to ensure it works for the British people and the economy.

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