Recently, the government has introduced some changes to the skilled worker visa and the family visas. These changes have been introduced after the UK has experienced unprecedented levels of immigration.


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Due to humanitarian reasons and duties, the UK has accepted a lot of people coming from countries like Ukraine, Hong Kong and Afghanistan. It has also experienced a growth in health and care worker visa, student and dependent applications. Net migration for the year up to June 2023 was 672,000, a huge increase on pre-pandemic levels.


The government has claimed that they may not be able to sustain public services and housing if the level of migration does not come down. As a result, they have taken actions to remedy this.


Skilled worker visa


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On 4 April 2024, the salary threshold for the skilled worker visa will increase from £26,200 to £38,700 for those arriving on the skilled worker visa route. This means visa holders who are already on the skilled worker visa route on or before 3 April will not be subject to such changes.


This will only affect visa applicants who are applying to work in the UK for the first time or visa applicants who are switching to the skilled worker visa route. It is important to note that people coming on the Health and Care worker visa will be exempt from this threshold. This is because the government wants more healthcare workers to come to the UK in order to provide the staff that our care sector and NHS needs.


We recommend visa applicants to submit their applications latest by 3 April so that they will not be affected by such changes.


Family visas


For family visas,  the government is increasing the minimum annual income requirement from £18600 to £38700. However, these changes will be incremental. The government will raise the income to £29000 on 11 April. The income threshold will be raised again to £34500 (no set date from the government) and finally to £38700 in early 2025.


To avoid such a raise, we suggest that applicants make an application on or before 11 April.


The government has also prevented students from bringing their dependants to the UK unless they are studying a multi-year postgraduate research degree to help bring down the migration level. Furthermore, they will also remove the right for care workers to bring dependants to the UK starting from 11 March 2024. This means that although they are not affected by the salary threshold, this change might affect the care workers who intend to come to the UK to work.


However, the government states that they want to ensure the applicants who come to the UK would genuinely support the social care system instead of how in their view people have often abused the route. Therefore, we suggest health and care worker applicants to apply for their dependants to come to the UK latest by 11 March.


If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help.


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