The Residence Secretary has introduced main modifications to the UK visa system from Spring 2024 together with the next:
- The overall wage threshold for Expert Employee visas will improve by practically 50% from £26,200 to £38,700 (aside from Well being and Care visas). While this received’t have an effect on salaries paid to present sponsored staff for now (and transitional measures might apply when their visas are up for renewal), it is going to be a big blow for UK employers (notably regional ones) dependant on sponsoring lower-paid, however nonetheless expert, abroad employees following the ending of EU free motion. Many of those companies can have fairly legitimately developed a recruitment technique primarily based on the a lot heralded “new points-based system” launched in December 2020 underneath which the federal government promised that employers would have the ability to “recruit the expert employees they want”, although that was after all earlier than the publication of the most recent web migration figures.
- The elimination of the 20% going fee wage low cost for scarcity occupations and the alternative of the Scarcity Occupation Record with a brand new Immigration Wage Record, which can retain a basic threshold low cost. The Migration Advisory Committee will evaluation the brand new record in opposition to the elevated wage thresholds with a purpose to scale back the variety of occupations on the record.
- Social care employees is not going to be permitted to convey dependants to the UK.
- The minimal wage for British residents (or these settled within the UK) to sponsor a partner/associate visa will improve from £18,600 to £38,700.
- A evaluation of the graduate visa route by the Migration Advisory Committee “to make sure steps are being taken to stop abuse”, which signifies that in future graduate visa holders could also be restricted to working solely in roles expert to graduate degree or above.
Additional particulars will likely be revealed when the federal government publishes amended Immigration Guidelines and coverage steerage however this will not occur till March 2024. Within the meantime, UK employers might want to issue these will increase into future recruitment methods– notably the place they’re closely reliant on lower-paid non-British/Irish employees to satisfy their expertise wants. Affected companies ought to think about responding to any requires proof from the Migration Advisory Committee over the approaching months, notably in relation to the brand new Immigration Wage Record and the graduate visa route.
All of this comes alongside vital will increase in visa prices, most of which took impact in October simply gone however with an extra hike for the Immigration Well being Surcharge from 16 January 2024 (on the earliest) which means that, alongside hefty utility charges and the Immigration Expertise Cost, sponsors or candidates must pay £1,035 per yr generally (up from £624) and £776 per yr (up from £470) for under-18s dependants and college students. The Immigration Well being Surcharge is payable in a single quantity on the time of utility for every year of the visa being utilized for i.e. £1,035 x 3 = £3,105 for a 3 yr visa. The place potential, employers ought to think about submitting visa functions earlier than the will increase take impact in January 2024. Alternatively, visa prices (aside from the Immigration Expertise Cost) might be handed on to sponsored staff and plenty of employers additionally put in place claw-back agreements to recoup a proportion of their prices ought to the worker voluntarily go away their sponsored function sooner than anticipated. Nonetheless, in a aggressive recruitment market, employers might want to consider carefully about deterring sought-after candidates and whether or not reserving the largely theoretical potential to get well a small sum of cash on this means is price both the admin concerned or the doubtless off-putting affect on potential hires.
You probably have any questions regarding UK visa functions, proper to work checks or different immigration or employment associated queries, please contact your typical Squire Patton Boggs enterprise immigration workforce member or Annabel Mace, associate and Head of UK Immigration.