UK Home Office Issues Fact Sheet on Net Migration Reduction Plan

The UK Home Office has published a fact sheet containing more information about its plan to reduce net migration by increasing the Skilled Worker threshold and making other changes.

The key points are as follows:

Skilled Worker visas

  • The £38,700 general salary threshold which is to be introduced in spring 2024 will not apply to existing Skilled Worker visa holders. The fact sheet does not say anything about this but on December 20, 2023 the Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery confirmed it in an answer to a written parliamentary question.
  • The going rates (minimum salaries for different occupation codes) will be increased in spring 2024 to the median salary for each occupation code. Existing Skilled Worker visa holders will be exempt from the new going rates. Their salary will need to be at or above the 25th percentile (not the median) for the relevant occupation code when they apply to change employment, extend their stay or settle.

Family visas

  • The minimum income required for a family visas will increase incrementally, starting with a jump to £29,000 in spring 2024. The Home Office originally said that the minimum income requirement would increase from the current level of £18,600 to £38,700 per year. Now the plan is to raise it in spring 2024 to £29,000 (which is the 25th percentile of salaries for jobs which meet the skill level required for a Skilled Worker visa). It will increase again at some point to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500) and then finally to the median (currently £38,700). The Home Office has not said when those increases will take place.
  • Existing family visa holders will not need to meet the increased minimum income requirement when they apply to extend their stay or settle. The current £18,600 minimum income requirement will continue to apply to them.

Immigration Health Surcharge

  • The Immigration Health Surcharge will not increase as early as January 16, 2024. The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase in early 2024 from £624 to £1,035 per year for most adult visa applicants. The draft order (the legislation needed to increase the surcharge) says that it will come into force on January 16, 2024, or 21 days after the order is made, whichever is later. The next stage in the parliamentary timeline is not until January 10, 2024. After that the order needs to be approved by MPs and signed by the Minister. It will come into force 21 days after it has been signed.


Erickson Insights and Analysis

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.