Amendments to UK Immigration Framework from 4 April 2024

The Home Office has unveiled substantial revisions to the UK immigration framework, stemming from its five-point plan to notably decrease net migration, declared in December 2023. On March 14, 2024, the Home Office released further details in a Statement of Changes, confirming previously unknown points from January 2024. Many of these amendments will take effect on April 4, 2024.

Changes in Skilled Worker Visas
Increased Minimum Salary for Skilled Workers

Commencing April 4, 2024, the minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker visa applications will escalate to £38,700 or the applicable rate for the role, as outlined in the SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) 2020, instead of SOC 2010. This adjustment will necessitate modifications to occupation code numbers for certain roles. Additionally, the data utilized to set these salaries will shift from the 25th percentile of the 2021 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) data to the median (50th percentile) of the 2023 ASHE data. Consequently, some roles may have a minimum salary threshold significantly exceeding £38,700.

Transitional salaries have been introduced for existing Skilled Worker visa holders applying for extensions or switching employers in the UK. For these individuals, the minimum salary threshold will be £29,000 or the applicable rate for the role, based on the 25th percentile of the 2023 ASHE data. This represents a 10-20% increase in most cases. These transitional provisions will apply to applications submitted by Skilled Worker visa holders granted before April 4, 2024, and applying before April 4, 2030.

Maintenance of New Entrant Discounts

The Home Office has confirmed the retention of ‘new entrant’ salary discounts for certain Skilled Worker visa applicants, including students transitioning to Skilled Worker roles, individuals under 26 years old, and those working toward full registration or chartered status. This discount reduces the Skilled Worker minimum salary threshold to the higher of £30,960 per year or 70% of the going rate for the applicable SOC 2020 occupation code.

Other Noteworthy Changes
Alterations to Occupation Codes

In addition to reducing the number of occupation codes in the Immigration Salary List, previously known as the Shortage Occupation List, and removing the 20% reduction in minimum salary levels for listed roles, the Home Office has updated roles and consolidated some occupation codes to reflect changes between SOC 2010 and SOC 2020.

Expansion of Supplementary Employment Permission

The Home Office has relaxed supplementary employment rules for Skilled Workers from April 4, 2024, enabling them to undertake supplementary work in any role eligible for Skilled Worker sponsorship, subject to certain conditions.

Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker

The salary threshold for the intra-company transfer visa route will increase to £48,500 from April 4, 2024, or the updated occupation code going rate salary if higher. Transitional arrangements akin to those for Skilled Workers are in place.

Anticipated Changes in 2024

In addition to the outlined adjustments, further alterations are anticipated in 2024, including the transition to e-visas by the year’s end, changes to the EU Settlement Scheme, and the expansion of the Electronic Travel Authorisation. Stay tuned for updates on these developments.

The landscape of UK immigration remains dynamic, shaped by policy shifts and global dynamics. For personalized guidance on available immigration pathways, we encourage reaching out to explore your options for residency, family reunification, or business immigration.


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