UK Immigration Rules update, Family and Skilled Worker visas

March 14, 2024 Uncategorized

UK Immigration Rules update, Family and Skilled Worker visas

Further clarification has been provided around changes to Family and Skilled Worker visas following the publication of a new set of Immigration Rules, published today 14 March 2024.

The changes to Family visas will be effective from 11 April 2024. From that date the minimum income requirement to sponsor a partner (includes spouse, civil partner, fiancé etc.) will increase to £29,000 per annum from the current level of £18,600.

This is part of an incremental increase with the level set to rise to £34,000 in autumn 2024 and £38,700 in early 2025. However, no firm dates for such increases have been announced in this latest publication.

There is no change in how the financial requirement can be evidenced with the same sources still applicable such as employment income, self-employment, pension, non-employment income, cash savings etc. The formula to calculate cash savings remains the same so the minimum cash savings required from 11 April 2024 will be £88,500. This is based on multiplying £29,000 by a factor of 2.5, and then adding on the base amount of £16,000.

There has been no change announced to the “adequate maintenance” requirement, where the sponsor is in receipt of a certain public fund such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

One piece of positive news is that children are no longer included in the minimum income requirement. So, for example, an applicant looking to move to the UK with their British spouse, and 2 non-British children will not need to show a higher income or cash savings amount. The financial requirement in this case would just need to be met by the applying spouse / partner.

The new rules effective 11 April will not apply to anyone who is currently in the UK on a Family visa. Also, anyone who applies for a Family visa by 11 April 2024 and is subsequently approved, would only need to meet the current lower amount of £18,600 in future applications. This includes those who apply for a Marriage (Fiancé) visa before 11 April 2024.

For Skilled Worker visas, the new minimum salary threshold is being raised from £26,200 to £38,700, effective from 4 April 2024. It is important to note that the so called “going rate” for each individual occupation is also being increased. Applicants will usually need to meet the “going rate” which for many occupations will be higher than the minimum salary threshold.

Those sponsored on Health and Care visas are exempt from the new minimum salary threshold.
The Shortage Occupation List is being removed and replaced by a new Immigration Salary List (ISL). Those occupations on this new list have been included following a review by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). A full review will be carried out by the MAC at a later point in 2024. If an occupation is included on the new Immigration Salary List, then the offered salary can be discounted by up to 20 % from the minimum salary threshold but not the “going rate” if applicable.