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New Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules Published

New Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules Published

On March 14, 2024, a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was issued by the UK government, setting out some crucial reforms to the Skilled Worker and Family immigration routes. Covering a 289-page lengthy document, this is the second Statement of Changes announced this year. This document nullifies some fundamental reforms that constituted the government’s five-point plan declared formerly to reduce net migration and control the immigration system’s abuse.

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These changes are concerned with the following:

  • A raised general salary threshold and increased ‘going rates’ for certain occupations under the Skilled Worker route.
  • Salary requirements with consequential changes under other work routes.
  • Minimum income requirement under the Partner Routes.

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Let’s summarise the significant changes mentioned in the Statement of Changes.

Changes To The Skilled Worker Route

In December 2023, the Home Secretary declared that the Skilled Worker route would undergo changes, as they want businesses to invest in the resident workforce instead of depending on migrations.

Increased General Salary Threshold And ‘going Rates’

Skilled Workers will compulsorily be paid at least a general salary threshold or thegoing rate for the individual occupation by the sponsoring employers, whichever is higher.

This statement validates an increase in the general salary threshold under the Skilled Worker route from £26,200 (based on 25th percentile UK earnings in eligible occupations) to £38,700 (based on median UK earnings in eligible occupations) with effect from April 4, 2024. The going rates are also increased from the 25th percentile to the median. Moreover, these increased thresholds and going rates are based on the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) pay data.

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New Salary Requirement for Health and Care Workers

The new median salary requirements do not apply to sponsored workers under Health and Care Visas or occupations where going rates are determined by national pay scales. However, based on the latest ONS pay data, a general threshold remains applicable, which is raised from £26,200 to £29,000. The going rates are also being revised according to the latest ONS pay data and/or the latest available national pay scales.

New Immigration Salary List

A new Immigration Salary List (ISL) replaces the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). It clarifies that it lists those entries where the government considers it logical to offer a discounted salary threshold instead of listing all occupations experiencing labour shortages.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) carried out a review, informing all those comprising the new list. A full review of the list is scheduled for later this year by the MAC. As with the former list, the listed occupations get a 20% discount to the general salary threshold of £30,960 or £23,200 in case they are not subjected to the £38,700 or £29,000 threshold. However, the earlier 20% discount to the going rate requirement is being withdrawn.

Update of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system, used in the immigration system, also encompasses updates from SOC 2010 to SOC 2020. This depicts that some SOC codes regularly used by some employers will change, so they are advised to issue any Certificates of Sponsorship from April 4 using the new coding system.

New Salary Requirements For Other Work Routes

According to the latest ONS pay data, the salary requirements for other work routes are being updated. Listed below are the increased general salary thresholds for other work routes:

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Increase in The Minimum Income Requirement Under The Partner Routes

The statements lay out the planned hike to the Minimum Income Requirement for those in the 5-year partner and child routes under Appendix FM.

According to the Home Office, this minimum income requirement has remained the same for more than a decade, which does not depict the income level a family requires to be self-sufficient and independent of public funds.

Effective April 11, 2024, this change places £29,000 as the new minimum income requirement for incoming applicants through this route. This move demonstrates the first step in aligning the route’s financial requirements with the new minimum general salary threshold for Skilled Workers.

A separate child element to the minimum income requirement is also removed. This is to ensure equal treatment is given to British nationals compared to migrants, who are required to meet the General Skilled Worker threshold at a flat rate, regardless of sponsoring any children.

Transitional arrangements are being granted for those holding a Family Visa before April 11, 2024, under the fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, or five-year partner route, or those who applied before this date.


Once an applicant meets the minimum income requirement (MIR), they must meet the same MIR through settlement on the route, provided the applicant is applying to stay with the same partner. The same will be the case for children seeking to join a parent. These measures deliver certainty for applicants already within the route or those applying before the increase occurs.

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