In today’s blog update, we’ll talk about all the changes coming especially in the month of January next year.
Immigration Health Surcharge Increase on or after 16 January 2024
As a reminder to all our subscribers, from 16 January 2024 or subsequent dates, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) rates will go through a substantial increase of 66%. The IHS applies to most UK visa applications. The IHS entitles migrants to use the NHS if the applicant becomes unwell or has an accident while in the UK.
Please keep in mind that the Fee for children, students, their dependents, and Youth Mobility workers will rise from £470 per year to £776 per year.
Fee for all other applicants will increase from £624 per year to £1,035 per year
This denotes that the regular Skilled Worker visa fees for one employee for 5 years would incur a supplementary increment of £2,055. This amount further increases if the primary applicant has dependents (an additional £2,055 for a partner and £1,530 per child).
Sadly, the looming changes will considerably affect UK Visa applicants and companies in the UK looking to apply for UK visas.
Updates to UK visitor rules
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 22 November 2023 as part of the Autumn Statement, announced a commitment to simplifying and expanding the permitted activities for foreign business visitors to the UK. This was previously publicized in the Spring 2023 Statement, but so far we have not seen an actual change to the UK Immigration Rules to be published or implemented. Please keep in mind that the new target date for the upcoming changes is January 2024.
The changes to the UK visitor rules will primarily be focused on intra-corporate activities, the legal services sector, and paid engagements. The government of the United Kingdom also stated that some changes can be implemented during 2024 based on trade agreements.
Increment in UK Minimum Wage rates
Please keep in mind that significant increases to Minimum Wage rates from 2024 have been announced:
- National Living Wage (21 and over): £11.44 (up 9.8%)
- 18-20-year-old rate: £8.60 (up 14.8%)
- 16-17-year-old rate: £6.40 (up 21.2%)
- Apprentice rate: £6.40 (up 21.2%)
- Accommodation offset: £9.99 (up 9.8%)
The most important part is that employers are advised to review and make sure that their salaries are compliant. Especially, those who have interns working for them under the Temporary Worker Government Authorised Exchange scheme should keep in mind that the minimum wage obligation is one of the UK visa conditions for these individuals.
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