The Government’s new five-point package of measures for the immigration system has been given a timeline

The key dates for the new immigration system are:

The minimum salary to increase for the skilled worker visa from 4 April 2024:

To be eligible for a skilled worker visa, the applicant must have a job offer that meets the minimum salary requirement of £38,700 per year.

The Health and Care visa holders will crucially remain exempt from this increase.

From 11 March 2024, care workers will be unable to bring dependents with them if they come to work in the UK:

These changes will not affect NHS staff.

It is worth noting that for individuals on other visas wishing to sponsor dependents to join them in the UK, the minimum income threshold is increasing in stages from £18,600 to £29,000, to ultimately around £38,700, which will come into effect from April 2024.

From 11 March 2023, care homes will have to be regulated by the CQC if they want to be able to sponsor skilled workers:

This measure is designed to reduce abuse of the sponsorship system and will prevent fake “care home businesses” offering sponsorship to migrants on false pretences.

In addition, migrant workers undertaking activities that are regulated by the CQC will be able to be sponsored to these activities by care providers in England.

Immigration salary list to replace shortage occupation list:

A new immigration salary list will replace the shortage occupation list. The new list will not feature the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations but will retain a general threshold discount. The initial changes to this list are expected to come in April 2024.

The Government has confirmed since the announcement of this five-point plan that the new rules are “not retrospective” and will apply for new visas and future renewals and extensions. Therefore these new rules concern those with limited leave to remain in the UK, who will need to renew their visas and who do not meet the new requirements.

If you have any concerns about any of the issues covered in this article, please get in touch with our dedicated employment and social care law experts.