27 February 2024
Share Print

Immigration Update - UK Visa Rule Changes: What You Need to Know

To The Point
(3 min read)

The UK Government has now provided more detail on the timetable in relation to implementing their new 'five-point plan' to cut immigration announced in December of last year. In this article, we will outline the timings of these key changes.

For more detail on the proposed changes, please see our recent article here.

  • 1) Social care workers and dependants: From 11 March 2024, newly arriving social care workers will not be allowed to bring their partners and children (dependants) on their visa.
  • 2) Skilled Worker visa minimum salary: Starting from 4 April 2024, the baseline minimum salary required to be sponsored for a Skilled Worker visa will increase from £26,200 to £38,700.
  • 3) Changes to the shortage occupation list: In April 2024 a new, reduced shortage occupation list will be released, called the Immigration Salary List (ISL). The Migration Advisory Committee has recently published its recommendations for the revised list as part of a rapid review commissioned by the Government in January 2024. It is recommending 21 occupations be included on the new ISL.  That represents 8% of job roles eligible for the Skilled Worker route by employment (down from approximately 30% of job roles eligible on the Shortage Occupation List).  This is only an interim measure, ahead of a full review of the ISL starting later this year.
  • 4) Spouse/partner visa minimum income: The minimum income required to sponsor someone for a spouse/partner visa will increase in stages. From 11 April 2024, it will rise to £29,000 per year. Further increases to around £34,500 and ultimately around £38,700 will occur at unspecified times in 2024 and early 2025, respectively.
  • 5) Review of the Graduate visa: The Migration Advisory Committee will conduct a review of the Graduate visa, a two-year unsponsored work permit for overseas graduates of British universities. The committee is expected to report its findings in late 2024.

It is important to note that these changes have not yet been implemented, but a timetable has been announced. The government will lay two statements of changes to the Immigration Rules before Parliament on 19 February 2024 and 14 March 2024. Unless actively voted against by the House of Commons or House of Lords within 40 days, the changes will automatically take effect.

These changes reflect the government's aim to reduce immigration levels, particularly in certain sectors. It is essential for individuals and businesses to stay informed and seek professional advice to navigate these new visa rules effectively.

Please note that the information provided in this article is based on the announcements made at the time of writing and is subject to change. It is always recommended to consult with a legal professional for the most up-to-date and accurate advice regarding visa regulations.

The contributors to this article were Sarah Harrop and Ben Fry.

To the Point 

Subscribe for legal insights, industry updates, events and webinars to your inbox

Sign up now