Changes afoot for UK immigration rules | Fieldfisher
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Changes afoot for UK immigration rules

Lucy Moss


United Kingdom

A series of new measures are set to come into force from February 2024.

Towards the end of 2023, the Home Office announced numerous changes to several immigration routes would be implemented in 2024.

The Home Office has now given some further detail regarding the dates for implementation of these changes, as follows:

  1. From 6 February 2024, the Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £624 per year to £1,035 per year. This increase applies to most visa routes for those planning to stay longer than six months, subject to very limited exceptions (e.g. those who are applying on a Health and Care visa).                                                                                                                                                      
  2. From 19 February 2024, those Skilled Workers in the UK who are employed as care workers will no longer be eligible to bring dependant family members with them to the UK. This change will only affect new dependent applications.                                                                                              
  3. Perhaps most notably, from 4 April 2024, the minimum salary threshold for the Skilled Worker route will increase from its currently level of £26,200 to £38,700 per year – a substantial jump. This new salary threshold will apply to any applicants who are new to the Skilled Worker route, including those applying from overseas, or those switching in the UK from the graduate, student or youth mobility route.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Accordingly, organisations should urgently review whether any of their employees will require long term sponsorship in the future, and whether they will meet the higher salary requirement in place from April. Where there are any doubts, organisations should consider making a Skilled Worker application before the 4 April 2024, as employees who are on the Skilled Worker route before the increase will only be required to meet the current threshold of £26,200 for any subsequent extension applications further down the line.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  4. From 11 April 2024, the minimum income requirement for partners of British Citizens applying under the family route will increase from £18,600 to £29,000 per year. Further increases are proposed, but dates not yet identified.                                                                                                        
  5. From "early April", several other changes suggested by the Migration Advisory Committee will come into effect, including the removal of the concession of a lower salary threshold for occupations on the shortage occupation list for the Skilled Worker route.

Please contact the Fieldfisher Immigration team if you would like to discuss these changes and what they may mean for you and your employees.

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