Changes to the Skilled Worker visa and what they mean for you

On 14 March 2024, the Home Office prepared and laid before Parliament the Statement of Changes. The Minister of State at the Home Office, Tom Pursglove MP, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reducing net migration.

This is to be achieved by tightening up visa requirements and encouraging businesses to invest in the domestic workforce rather than ‘over-relying on migration.’ Here is a summary of the changes to the Skilled Worker visa and what they mean for you.

As of April 4, 2024, the following changes have been made to the Skilled Worker visa:

New Skilled Worker visa applicants

The baseline annual income requirement for a Skilled Worker visa has increased from £26,200 to £38,700.

You must also be paid the minimum ‘standard’ salary rate for the type of work you will be doing.

The minimum ‘standard’ salary will be whichever is the higher of:

  • £38,700 per year
  • the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing

Your prospective employer must make sure your employment role pays at least the minimum wage and follows the UK rules for how many hours a week you work. If your employer does not do this, your application will be refused.

Existing Skilled Worker visa holders

Existing Skilled Worker visa holders are exempt from the increase to the baseline income requirement in many instances. Therefore, if you are an existing Skilled Worker visa holder seeking to extend your visa, change sponsors or acquire indefinite leave to remain, you are excluded from the increase.

The Home Office will also revise down some occupations to RGF Level 3. This includes nannies and fashion stylists. As a Skilled Worker visa holder in those roles, you may continue to work and extend your existing visas in the UK.

However, where the role has been downgraded, you will not be permitted to change sponsors. You will also not be permitted to take up a new but similar position. If you decide to change sponsors, you must apply for an employment role that falls under the appropriate SOC code.

If, as an the existing Skilled Worker visa holder, you are sponsored in a role that is on either the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) or the new Immigration Salary List (ISL), and the occupation has been removed or downgraded, the business may continue to sponsor your application for an extension of your leave. You may also continue to apply for indefinite leave to remain. But if your role has since been removed, you will be required to meet the higher salary for an appropriate sponsored employment role.

For those that hold a relevant PhD, the threshold will be £26,100.

Immigration Salary List

The Shortage Occupation List has been scrapped alongside the 20% discount on the going rate for employers facing skills shortages on the list. It has been replaced with the new Immigration Salaries List.

Written by Mya Alghali

How we can help you

Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration assistance to individuals and families.

If you have questions or concerns or you would like straightforward immigration advice, or help with applying for a visa, feel free to contact us.

Our processes are tried and tested and have proven successful. Yet, we know that each person’s circumstances are different and requires that individual touch when assisting you and when presenting the matter to UKVI.

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