Changes in immigration policy: increases to salary thresholds

January 25, 2024
Vitoria Nabas


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Changes in UK immigration policy continue to make an impact on company employment objectives as the government introduces further financial challenges to new applications for skilled worker, health care and family/spouse visas. The following changes to salary thresholds and dependents need to be taken into serious consideration.

Skilled Worker

Where the Skilled Worker Route is a major HR instrument for employers searching for qualified talent, the minimum salary threshold is to be increased from the current threshold of £26,200 to £29,000 starting from April 2024. Although a gradual introduction, increases reaching as high as 48% finally reaching £38,700 are to be implemented into the yet unknown current future.

In most cases for those on current Skilled Worker visas, the new threshold will not impact them when they change employment or extend their stay. Remain diligent as certain switches to other routes may be hit by the threshold changes.

Health, Social Care, Education

Health and Social Care workers as well as education workers on national pay-scale occupations will be exempt from the new salary thresholds.

Unfortunately, the health and social care industry may feel an impact as care workers will no longer be entitled to bring dependent family members through new applications.

Family & Spouse Visa

Another gradual increase is the minimum income level for new family and spouse visas (including switching to family/spouse visas) from £18,600 to £29,000. This will gradually reach £38,700. Although additional income requirements for dependent children under family route is to be removed (only new applications).

The Immigration Salary List is to replace the current Shortage Occupations List in April 2024. The new list will implement new salary thresholds for worker visas. Indeed the thresholds are to increase in line with the other announcements as mentioned above. The Health and Care categories will be exempted from these changes.

The above changes indeed bring many questions and there is uncertainty on how these changes will operate in practice. With regard to current visa holders, be cautious when switching visa routes. Not in all cases will the old application requirements apply to salary and dependent thresholds of your new visa.

The gunnercooke Global Mobility team are well equipped and ready to provide further guidance, you can read more about us here.

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