On April 4, 2024, amendments were made to the immigration regulations concerning the skilled worker visa pathway. Under the updated guidelines, employers sponsoring skilled workers must remunerate them with a salary that meets either the general salary threshold or the going rate for their specific occupation, whichever amount is higher. The general salary threshold is being elevated from £26,200 to £38,700 (based on the median UK earnings within qualifying occupations). These adjustments reflect the most recent data on pay from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Transitional Arrangements For Existing Skilled Workers

Within the framework of the new immigration rules, transitional arrangements have been implemented. For skilled workers already within the skilled worker visa pathway before the Rule amendments come into force on 4 April 2024, there will be a general salary threshold set at £29,000. This applies specifically to those seeking to extend their skilled worker visa, updating their visa due to a change in employer, or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as skilled workers before 4 April 2030.

The Shortage Occupations List Removed and Replaced With New Immigration Salary List

The Shortage Occupation List has been removed and replaced by a new Immigration Salary List to make it clearer that the entries on the list are those where the Government considers it sensible to offer a discounted salary threshold, rather than being a list of all occupations experiencing labour shortages. As with the previous list (shortage occupations list), occupations included in the Immigration Salary List have a 20% discount to the general salary threshold (to £30,960 or £23,200, depending on whether they would otherwise be subject to the £38,700 or £29,000 threshold); however, the previous 20% discount to the going rate requirement has been removed.

Reduced Salary for New Entrants and Holders of Ph.D. qualifications

Under the new immigration rules for skilled workers as in force from 4 April 2024, the reduced salary discounts have been retained and updated based on the latest ONS pay data relating to:

  • holders of relevant Ph.D. qualifications,
  • “new entrants” to the labour market, and
  • national pay scale occupations.

Changes Relating To Supplementary Employment for Skilled Workers

Supplementary employment under the Skilled Worker route has been broadened to encompass all occupations eligible for the skilled worker visa route. 

Updating from SOC 2010 to SOC 202

Under the new Immigration Rules effective from 4 April 2024, changes have been made to update the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system used in the immigration system from SOC 2010 to SOC 2020. The Office designed both National Statistics systems, now only publishing new data for SOC 2020.

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