ArticleSalary thresholds rise, shortage list vanishes, in latest policy update

In a recent statement of changes, HC 590, significant alterations to the UK immigration rules have been announced. In a comprehensive announcement, the immigration minister detailed significant revisions impacting several key aspects of the UK’s immigration framework. These amendments encompass the skilled worker category, Appendix FM partner visas, the EU Settlement Scheme, and the newly formulated immigration salary list. Additionally, the statement highlighted alterations in the administrative review process for applications related to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Skilled Worker salary threshold

A major shift comes with the introduction of the Appendix Immigration Salary List, replacing the Shortage Occupation List. From 4 April 2024, skilled worker visa applicants will face a raised general salary threshold of £38,700 or the job’s going rate (now calculated at the median instead of the 25th percentile). Applications made before 4 April 2024 will be judged under the existing rules.

Increase in minimum income requirement for partners

The changes extend to the Appendix FM partner route as well. The minimum income requirement for settlement as a partner is set to increase to £29,000 from 11 April 2024, with no additional income requirement for children.

EU Settlement Scheme and work permission for asylum seekers

Modifications to the Appendix EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) include the removal of the ability to apply out-of-time for administrative review of certain EUSS decisions from 4 April 2024.

For asylum seekers, the rules on work permission have been altered, limiting the roles they can take up in the UK by linking them to the new Appendix Immigration Salary List.

Domestic abuse victims and exceptional assurance

The rules now expand to include partners with pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme in the Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse.

Additionally, the immigration rules will now officially recognise the ‘Exceptional Assurance’ concession linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, providing relief for overstayers in specific circumstances.

Restrictive parent definition and Hong Kong BN(O) route changes

A notable change in the definition of a parent excludes step-parents, focusing only on biological, legal, and adoptive parents.

The concession allowing asylum claimants on immigration bail to apply to the Hong Kong BN(O) route will be formalised alongside other changes aimed at easing the pathway to settlement.

New Appendix Long Residence

The new Appendix Long Residence replaces the existing rules, requiring individuals to hold leave in their current route for at least one year or be exempt from immigration control within 12 months before applying for settlement.

Additional changes and implementation

Other changes include the introduction of a new Appendix Adoption, updates to the Appendix English Language for additional routes, changes to the Appendix Electronic Travel Authorization, and updates to the Appendix Armed Forces, among others.

These adjustments reflect the UK government’s ongoing efforts to adapt and refine its immigration policies in line with current needs and global trends.

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