UK immigration update: Government issues clarifications on planned spring 2024 changes

Yesterday, the UK government published further detail on its five-point plan to reduce net migration figures. The announcement addresses concerns which have been raised by ministers and the public. The clarifications of most interest are as follows:

  • The new Skilled Worker salary threshold of GBP38,700 is set to be implemented in April 2024.
  • Skilled Workers who have been sponsored at the lower salary threshold should be exempt from the increase when changing their employer, extending their visa or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain; however, the government will have expected their pay to progress and so transitional measures will be put in place.
  • Shortage Occupation List will remain in place until late spring 2024 until the Migration Advisory Committee have completed their consultation process and advised on which occupations should be included on the new Immigration Salary List with reference to the new salary thresholds.
  • Care workers and senior care workers already in the UK prior to the change in the rules coming into force will be able to continue to have, or bring, their dependants to the UK.
  • Contrary to the announcement on 4 December 2023, the income salary threshold for family visas is now set to increase in increments, initially to GBP29,000 in Spring 2024 with no additional amount required for children. This is GBP10,400 more than the current threshold and it will ultimately still be increased to GBP38,700. Transitional measures are expected to apply to family members who originally submitted their applications based on the lower thresholds.

No reference has been made to changes in the discounts offered under the Skilled Worker category to new entrants or those taking up PhD level roles; although it is anticipated that these will increase upwards at a proportionate level, with reference to the GBP38,700 threshold.

Whilst this may alleviate some of the concerns that many businesses and employers have raised, uncertainty still remains in respect of which sectors will be worst hit and which occupations will continue to be considered a shortage and deemed appropriate to be included on the Immigration Salary List.

Our Immigration team would be pleased to have a quick call regarding how these changes may affect you, or any other UK-immigration related matters generally. Please contact Gulcin Kashano, Eilidh Moncrieff or Kate Hodgkiss.

Please see our full article on the government’s five point plan.