The UK Government has announced important changes to the rules concerning Skilled Workers. The Home Secretary, James Cleverly, has introduced changes which also impact those on the Health & Care Worker visa, Family visa, and Student visa routes. A review of the Graduate visa route is expected to be conducted in 2024, with recommendations likely made around this time next year.
The following changes are due to come into effect from Spring 2024, and are summarised as follows:
Skilled Worker Minimum Salary
The existing minimum salary threshold will increase from £26,200 to £38,700. * There will still be exceptions for individuals whose salary does not meet the minimum threshold but who meet other criteria, such as 'new entrants' or post-doctoral researchers. Those already in the UK on the Skilled Worker route, including those who make applications on this route before Spring 2024, will not be subject to the new minimum salary requirement.
Shortage Occupation List
The existing 20% going rate salary discount applied to the minimum salary for those whose occupation is on the shortage occupation list will be removed. There will be a review of the entire list, with a significant reduction of eligible jobs expected. A new Immigration Salary List is expected to replace the Shortage Occupation List.
Health and Care Worker Visas
Those on the Health and Care Worker visa will no longer be able to bring family members (known as 'dependants') with them to the UK. Care homes and similar facilities will now need to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Skilled Worker minimum salary threshold increase will not apply to health and care workers. To find out more details about how these changes impact you and your dependants, whether or not you are currently in the UK on this route, click here.
The Government announced earlier this year that it would no longer allow those on the Student visa route to bring their dependants to the UK, unless they are on a postgraduate research course. It will now ask the Migration Advisory Committee to review the Graduate visa route "to prevent abuse and protect the integrity and quality of UK higher education".
The existing £18,600 financial threshold will be raised to £38,700. **
*The Government has since announced the threshold will increase to £29,000 from Spring 2024 before gradually moving up to £34,500 and finally settling at £38,700.
** Similarly, the threshold will first increase to £29,000 before increasing at a later, unspecified date.