The UK government implemented significant changes to its work and family visa system in March 2024, impacting both potential migrants and employers.

Restrictions for Care Workers

Starting March 11th, 2024, newly arriving care workers under the Health and Care Worker visa can no longer bring their dependents (spouses/partners and children) with them.

This is a major shift, as previously, these visas allowed for dependent applications.

However, there’s a crucial exception: care workers already on this visa route before March 11th are unaffected. They can extend their visas, switch employers within specific categories, and even settle in the UK with their dependents.

In addition, the Health and Care Worker salary threshold will increase from £26,200 to £29,000.

Minimum Salary Increase for Skilled Workers (coming soon)

While not implemented in March, a significant change is coming into effect on April 4th, 2024.

The minimum salary threshold for a Skilled Worker visa will jump from £26,200 to £38,700 per year. This aims to ensure skilled migrants are offered competitive salaries.

New salary requirements for other work routes have been published as well;

  • · The general salary threshold under the Senior or Specialist Worker will increase from £45,800 to £48,500.
  • · The general salary threshold under the Graduate Trainee route will increase from £24,220 to £25,410.
  • · The general salary threshold under the Scale-up route will increase from £34,600 to £36,300.

Shortage Occupation list

The list will be removed and instead the Home Office introduces an Immigration Salary List (ISL). Occupation on this list are those who the Government sees as right to offer a discounted salary rather to announce that this is in Shortage Occupation.

Staged Rise in Minimum Income for Family Visas:

Another change impacting family visas is a phased increase in the minimum income requirement for partners applying to join UK residents.

This applies to those applying under Appendix FM.

As of April 11th, 2024, the minimum income requirement goes up from £18,600 to £29,000.

The government has indicated further increases are planned later in 2024 and early 2025, with the final threshold expected to be around £38,700.

However, there’s a crucial exception here as well: family members already on this visa route before 11/04/2024 are unaffected. They can extend their visas while satisfying the lower financial threshold, £18,600, as long as they make further applications with the same partner.

Further plans are in place for any application made under Appendix FM as a parent or partner. Fees will increase by 20% from £1048 to £1258 effective from July 2024.

Effects of the Changes

The restrictions on care workers bringing dependents could potentially make recruiting for these vital roles more challenging.

The higher salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas might deter some employers from sponsoring overseas talent, particularly for roles not commanding top salaries.

The rise in the minimum income requirement for family visas could make it harder for some UK residents to bring their families to join them and potentially will impact British nationals and Settled people right to private and family life

How can we assist you?

If you would like to speak with us how these changes might impact your family or your business in the UK, please email us at :