Home Office announces significant Financial Requirement Changes for UK Visas | Fieldfisher
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Home Office announces significant Financial Requirement Changes for UK Visas

Rhona Azir


United Kingdom

The Home Office has announced a package of significant changes to the most common visa categories in an attempt to keep net migration low.

As part of the plans announced on the 14th March 2024 in a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, the minimum salary level for Skilled Worker, the UK's main sponsored worker category, was increased from £26,200 to £38,700 per year and the "going rate" for individual occupation codes also saw sharp increases. Further changes announced included the removal of the Shortage Occupation List, which will be replaced by a new Immigration Salary List and increases to the financial requirements for family routes.

The salary updates have been described by the UK Government as an attempt to "encourage businesses to invest in the resident workforce rather than over-relying on migration".

For partner visas, including spouses, unmarried partners, civil partners and fiancés of British citizens, as well as any accompanying children, the reason for the increase from £18,600 per year to £29,000, was that the minimum income requirement has not been increased for over a decade and "no longer reflects the level of income required by a family to ensure they are self-sufficient and do not need to rely on public funds".

While the changes were initially announced at the end of last year, they were still met with frustration by businesses and private clients, who already feel the pinch from considerable visa fee increases in October last year and a rise in the Immigration Health Surcharge, the top-up fee for migrants in the UK to be able to access the NHS.

We summarise the key changes below.

Sponsored Workers – Changes from 4 April 2024

  • The Minimum salary for Skilled Worker has increased from £26,200 to £38,700;
  • Individual occupation codes or "going rate" salaries have increased. Currently, for the Skilled Worker category, sponsors must pay workers the higher of the minimum salary level, an hourly rate or a specific occupation code, but these too have increased dramatically, with some salaries almost doubling.
  • Relevant PhD holders and new entrant tariffs remain in place;
  • Existing Skilled Worker migrants will not have to meet the higher £38,700 threshold until 2030, even if they change jobs;
  • Health and Care workers will be exempt from the new salary requirements but must still meet a threshold of £29,000. The occupation code rates for Health and Care occupations have also been increased and reviewed, with some occupations removed:
  • Global Business Mobility Senior or Specialist workers must now meet the minimum salary of £48,500, up from £45,800;
  • Global Business Mobility Graduate Trainees must meet the minimum salary of £25,410 or 70% of the going rate of the relevant occupation code.
  • New Immigration Salary List will contain less occupations following a reduction from 54 to 21 roles, but some applicants may benefit from reduced fees and lower salary thresholds.

Family Immigration – Changes from 11 April 2024.

  • For partners of British citizens, the financial threshold has increased from £18,600 to £29,000;
  • There is no longer an uplift on the requirement based on additional children in an application;
  • There are transitional arrangements for those in the UK on the five-year route to settlement, who can take advantage of the previous financial requirements.
  • If only cash savings are being used to meet the requirement, this remains at £62,500.
  • Stepchildren can apply to join parents.

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