Changes to Skilled Worker Visa 2024

As of April 4, 2024, significant changes to the UK's Skilled Worker visa regulations have been implemented. These updates primarily impact the minimum salary requirements and the structure of salary thresholds for overseas workers.

Increased Salary Requirements

UK businesses must now offer higher salaries to overseas employees on a Skilled Worker visa. Being more specific, the general salary threshold has risen by 48%, from £26,200 to £38,700. Therefore, employers who hold a valid sponsor licence to legally hire and sponsor non-UK workers under this visa category now need to meet this threshold.

Existing Skilled Workers

For those who held a Skilled Worker visa before April 4, 2024, the salary increase is less steep. These individuals, already employed by a sponsor-licensed company and holding a certificate of sponsorship, will need a minimum salary of £29,000 (up from £26,200) or the updated going rate for their occupation if they seek to extend their visa, change employers, or settle in the UK.

New Entrant Discounts Remain

Discounts for new entrants remain, despite the overall increase. Applicants classified as 'new entrants' to the Skilled Worker visa can still receive a 30% salary discount. As of April 4, 2024, this means new entrants need to earn at least £30,960 annually, or 70% of the going rate for their occupation, whichever is higher.

Dependants

Standard Skilled Worker visa holders can still bring their family members to the UK under the Skilled Worker Dependant Visa. However, care workers and senior care workers on this visa route are restricted from bringing dependants since the immigration changes of March 2024.

Introduction of the Immigration Salary List (ISL)

The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is replaced by a new Immigration Salary List (ISL), aimed at providing the Home Office with greater control over lower salary requirements for specific occupations. Jobs on the ISL will have a 20% discount compared to the general salary threshold, setting the minimum salary for these roles at £30,960.

The ISL will has fewer eligible Standard Occupational Classification codes than the SOL.

Updated SOC Codes

The Home Office adopted an updated version of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes (SOC 2020), phasing out SOC 2010. This classification system helps compare different occupations. Some SOC codes will no longer be available due to not meeting the minimum skill level of RQF Level 3, such as nannies. In conclusion, the revised Skilled Worker visa regulations are essential for skilled workers seeking employment opportunities in the UK. For prospective applicants, understanding and adhering to these updated requirements are crucial steps towards securing a successful visa application.

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