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Minimum salary to be raised to get visas for skilled workers

Updated: Jan 10

In response to recent immigration increases, excluding those arriving via "small boats," Home Secretary James Cleverly informed Parliament of the government's plan to raise the minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visas. Set to take effect next spring, the new threshold will increase from £26,200 to £38,700. Cleverly emphasized the goal of preventing immigration from undermining the wages of British workers. However, health and social care visa routes will be exempt to ensure the continued influx of crucial healthcare workers.

The government aims to eliminate discounted shortage labor from overseas by ending the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations and reforming the shortage occupation list (SOL). A new immigration salary list, developed in collaboration with the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), will feature a reduced number of occupations. The MAC is tasked with reviewing SOL occupations due to the elevated salary thresholds for higher-skilled workers.

Among other changes, the government plans to align the minimum income for family visas with the skilled worker salary threshold, ensuring that individuals can financially support their dependents. Starting January 2024, international students will lose the right to bring dependents unless enrolled in designated postgraduate courses classified as research programs. Furthermore, care firms in England must be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to sponsor visas.

Collectively, these measures would prevent approximately 300,000 individuals who arrived in the UK last year from doing so. Care England's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Martin Green, emphasized the need for the government to swiftly invest in improving pay and conditions to address the social care workforce crisis instead of relying on international recruitment.


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