ArticleEverything you must know if your CoS was issued before 4 April 2024

Applicants with Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) issued before 4 April 2024, or those who have continuously held a Skilled Worker visa since receiving their first Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa before this date, benefit from lower salary requirements. Specifically, such applicants are expected to meet either £29,000 annually or the lower going rate for their job, whichever is higher. This leniency applies across various application types, including new applications, extensions, updates, or changes to the existing visa.

It is important to note that these reduced salary thresholds are not static. They will be subject to periodic reviews and updates, reflecting changes in the going rates for various occupations. Applicants and employers must remain vigilant to these updates to ensure continuous compliance. The CoS with lower salary thresholds are slated to remain in effect for applications submitted before 4 April 2030.

What scenarios allow reduced salaries for skilled workers?

In specific scenarios, applicants may be eligible to receive a salary between 70% and 90% of the lower going rate for their occupation, provided their annual salary is at least £23,200. These scenarios include:

  • Jobs listed on the Immigration Salary List: Applicants working in roles on this list can be paid 80% of the lower going rate.
  • Young professionals and graduates: Individuals under 26 who are engaged in full-time study, recently graduated, or in professional training are eligible for a salary of at least 70% of the lower going rate.
  • Applicants with STEM PhD Qualifications: Those with relevant STEM PhD level qualifications can be paid at least 80% of the lower going rate. For non-STEM PhD qualifications, the minimum salary should be £26,100.
  • Postdoctoral positions in science or higher education: Postdoctoral professionals can also receive a salary of at least 70% of the lower going rate, with a total UK stay not exceeding four years, inclusive of any time spent on a Tier 2 (General) or Graduate visa.

For both employers and applicants, understanding and adhering to these revised salary requirements is vital. Employers should ensure that their CoS allocations accurately reflect these changes, specifying start dates and salary details in line with the new thresholds. Applicants need to carefully evaluate their eligibility against these criteria carefully, ensuring they meet the specific requirements set out for their role and circumstances.

While the Skilled Worker visa route offers significant opportunities for international professionals, it requires a nuanced understanding of its evolving requirements. Accurate and timely compliance with these regulations is crucial for both legal status in the UK and future immigration applications.

For personalised advice and guidance on the Skilled Worker visa process, particularly considering the new salary requirements, seeking assistance from immigration law specialists is recommended. At GigaLegal Solicitors, we offer expert support tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring a smooth and successful journey through the UK immigration system.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, contact GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.