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Big Breaking news Dates for New UK Visa Rules Announced UKVI latest Update 2024 min

Timeline For New Immigration Reforms Announced By The Home Office

A new statement from the Home Office was issued recently regarding major reforms and highlighting the launch dates for Skilled Worker and Partner routes. In addition to these, further announcements were also made, signalling a cramped timeline for immigration reforms expected to come into effect this year.





 

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On January 30, 2024, the Home Secretary released a statement primarily focusing on Skilled Worker and Partner route reforms. We can expect the majority of these reforms to take place around March and April 2024, and others to be launched later this year and towards early 2025.

Furthermore, on April 4, 2024, Skilled Worker salary thresholds will also face changes.

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The Cause Behind The Reforms

In short, there are a few reasons that have triggered the UK government to make these upcoming changes. These are:

  • Bring a significant reduction to net migration
  • Increase Home Office revenues
  • Push forward the digital transformation agenda

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In order to make the reforms simpler for you, we have included a timeline summary below. Do note that the dates announced in the latest statement of the Home Secretary are marked as NEW.

1 January 2024         

Partner and child dependants of Students are only allowed if the Student is starting a course on or after January 1, 2024, that is, a PhD or other doctorate, or a postgraduate research programme

31 January 2024       

Liberalising reforms to visitor routes came into effect

1 February 2024       

Electronic Travel Authorisation opens for citizens of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates who are travelling to the UK on or after February 22, 2024.

6 February 2024       

Immigration Health Surcharge increases to:

  • £776 for Students, Student dependants and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants
  • £1,035 for all other non-exempt applicants for limited immigration permission, including main applicants in work routes

13 February 2024

The maximum civil penalty for illegal working rises to £60,000

23 February 2024

Migration Advisory Committee to report on rapid review of the Immigration Salary List, which will replace the Shortage Occupation List for the Skilled Worker route

NEW: 19 February 2024

Immigration Rules to be laid to bring into effect March 11, 2024, ban on Carers and Senior Carers being accompanied by partners and children as Skilled Worker dependants.

NEW: 11 March 2024

Partners and children of Carers and Senior Carers cease to be eligible to apply as Skilled Worker dependants

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NEW: 11 March 2024

Sponsor guidance to be amended to require care home sponsors to be registered with the Care Quality Commission to sponsor Carers or Senior Carers

NEW: 14 March 2024

Immigration Rules to be laid to bring into effect April 4, 2024, reforms to the Skilled Worker and Partner routes

NEW: 4 April 2024    

Skilled Worker route changes come into effect, including:

  • Increase to the general salary threshold from £26,200 to £38,700
  • Amendments to current salary levels
  • Abolition of the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations
  • Replacement of the Shortage Occupation List with the Immigration Salary List

6 April 2024

Sponsors of workers with a licence expiry due on or after this date are not required to make an application to renew their licence – licences no longer have an expiry date. Sponsors have been advised of this directly on the Sponsor Management System.

NEW: 11 April 2024

The minimum income requirement for five-year Partner route applicants is to be raised from £18,600 to £29,000, and marginal income requirement for child dependants to be removed

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TBC mid-to-late 2024          

Migration Advisory Committee to carry out full review of Immigration Salary list (amendments to this list to be made following the review)

TBC mid-to-late 2024

The minimum income requirement for five-year Partner route applicants is to be raised from £29,000 to £34,500

By the End of 2024

Electronic Travel Authorisations implemented for all non-visa nationals

31 December 2024

Phase-out of physical immigration documents, including Biometric Residence Permits, Biometric Residence Cards and other paper-based documents; holders will need to obtain a UKVI account to prove their status after this date





 

‘Early’ 2025

The minimum income requirement for five-year Partner route applicants is to be raised from £34,500 to £38,700

In addition to these changes, improvements to the sponsor licensing system are also on the horizon. This change would be in line with the sponsorship roadmap of the Home Office. However, this particular reform programme is behind schedule, and no launch date is available at the moment.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on UK immigration.

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