29 January 2024
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UK immigration update: Expected changes for 2024 and sponsor licence check-up

To The Point
(4 min read)

On 4 December 2023 the Government announced a new 'five-point plan' to cut immigration set to come into force in Spring 2024. Below we explore these reforms along with other changes set to come into effect in 2024, as well as general check-ups sponsors should consider in the new year.

Expected changes in 2024:

Five Point Plan to cut net migration:
Increase in civil penalties for businesses employing illegal workers:
Transition to eVisas:
Removal of sponsor licence renewal requirement:


The increase in the salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas to £38,700 is a significant change and represents a substantial financial burden for employers that rely on skilled migrant workers. Sponsors should be aware of this and factor this into any budgeting and planning for 2024.

Employers that are currently in the process of applying for new Skilled Worker visas, or have plans to apply in the near future, may want to act quickly to ensure that the Home Office receives any applications before the increase comes into effect. This is also worth considering if an employer is seeking to rely on the current 20% salary discount under the Shortage Occupation List, which looks set to be revised.

The increase in civil penalties for employing illegal workers is an indication that the Home Office is strengthening its approach to the prevention of illegal working in the UK. We are advising employers that they should review their immigration/right to work processes to ensure full compliance.


The New Year is a great opportunity to pause to consider your sponsor licence compliance duties for the year ahead - HR teams could consider:

  • Annual renewal of CoS: Check and diarise when your annual allocation of undefined certificates of sponsorship needs to be renewed.
  • Licence renewal: Check when your licence is due to expire (licences are subject to renewal every four years). However, as noted above this requirement will be removed for any licence due to expire on or after the 6 April 2024.
  • Recruitment needs: Consider whether you may need to recruit migrant workers this year and factor in the time/ costs of sponsorship.
  • Key Personnel: Check that all the key personnel on your sponsor licence are still in their roles and available to maintain sponsor compliance duties.
  • Visa expiry dates: Check when your sponsored migrants' visas are due to expire and diarise renewal processes. Note that these sponsored workers will not be subject to the new increased salary thresholds when renewing.
  • Sponsored migrants' details: Ask migrants to confirm their contact details and consider any upcoming changes that may need reporting.
  • Corporate changes: Upcoming changes to company address, ownership, TUPE transfers and other corporate changes may all need reporting.

Contributors to this article were Sarah Harrop and Ben Fry.

Next Steps

The Addleshaw Goddard Immigration team is a nationally recognised team which is regularly asked to support clients with the full spectrum of their immigration needs.  We can provide refresher training, help with the prevention of illegal working and support with right to work queries, undertake mock audits, and assist clients with getting ready for any anticipated Home Office compliance visits.

If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article, feel free to contact one of the authors.

To the Point 

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