ArticleDates announced for new income thresholds and restrictions for family and skilled worker visas

The UK immigration landscape is set to undergo significant changes in the coming months, as outlined in a ministerial statement dated 30 January 2024. Two key statements of changes, scheduled for 19 February and 14 March, will introduce new income requirements for family and skilled worker visas and revise the rights of care workers. These developments will have substantial implications for applicants and employers alike.

19 February Statement of Changes:

  • Restrictions for care workers: Effective 11 March 2024, care workers and senior care workers will no longer have the right to bring dependants to the UK. Additionally, care providers in England must be regulated by the Care Quality Commission to sponsor workers. This change reflects a tightening of rules around sponsoring care workers and could impact the workforce in the care sector.

14 March Statement of Changes:

  • Increased income requirement for family visas: The minimum income threshold for partners applying under Appendix FM will rise to £29,000 starting 11 April 2024. While no specific dates have been provided for subsequent increments, the final increase is expected to be effective by early 2025. This increase in the financial requirement may pose challenges for families planning to apply for visas under this route.
  • Higher income threshold for skilled workers: From 4 April 2024, the earnings threshold for skilled worker visas will increase from £26,200 to £38,700. However, this change will not affect the Health and Care visa route or workers in national payscale occupations.
  • Changes to the shortage occupation list: The upcoming changes will reflect the outcomes of the Migration Advisory Committee’s rapid review of the shortage occupation list. The 20% going rate discount for roles on the list will be removed, aligning salary requirements with market rates. These amendments are set to be implemented in early April.

Implications and preparations

These imminent changes signal a busy period ahead for immigration lawyers and applicants. Adapting to these changes will be crucial for those affected by the new rules, particularly in the care sector and families relying on income thresholds. Potential applicants and employers must stay informed and seek professional guidance to navigate the evolving UK immigration framework successfully.

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