The Home Office published the annual Spring Statement of Changes to Immigration in the first half of 2023. Through this, the government wants to address skill shortages caused by the termination of workers’ free movement from other parts of Europe followed by Brexit. Meanwhile, the ministerial department of the British Government also wants to fulfil the Prime Minister’s current initiative to pull down net migration, which has hit 606,000 a year, an upsurge of 24% compared to the previous numbers.
Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the Exchequer, told entrepreneurs that he would work with them hand in hand to deal with immigration blockades preventing overseas skilled workers from filling critical job roles in the UK. This discussion occurred when Mr Hunt met business leaders in May in a meeting where he also said that the government is ready to adopt a policy that will focus on tackling problems in the “short-term”.
Jeremy Hunt also highlighted the government’s focus on helping UK-based employees who can’t join the labour force. In this category, he emphasised two groups – parents excluded from taking up jobs due to extensive childcare costs and people with health issues. He also urged businesses to retain the British workforce in sectors like logistics and agriculture instead of relying on migrant labour.
Later in this post, we will dive deeper into the key developments approaching the Home Office’s changes to UK business immigration. This knowledge will help businesses, especially the HR department, to optimise their hiring process and criteria accordingly. So, stay with us!!
Operational Changes in the Sponsorship License Regime
Sponsorship licence details like crucial contact information replacement of the authorising officer, including new level 1 users, will now be done instantly if the postcode matches. It will fix the previous bottleneck that used to cause frustration for businesses when they were trying to update such details. Sponsorship certificate allocation for A-rated sponsors will also be renewed automatically, replacing the manual renewal process.
Changes in Skilled Worker, Graduate Trainee, and Senior or Specialist Worker Category
Recent reports show that around 65,000 businesses hold sponsorship licences. Minimum salary requirements for sponsorship have increased in the following ways:
UK Expansion Worker Visas and Senior or Specialist Worker Visa threshold has increased to £45,800.
Salary requirements for Skilled Worker Visas have increased from £25,600 to £26,200.
Graduate apprentice threshold up to £24,220.
Kindly note that these thresholds are subject to a further minimal ‘going rate’ as specified in the relevant occupational codes for some specific jobs. The previous 39-hour workweek has now been dropped to 37.5 hours. Now, a pro rata calculation needs to be performed for anyone working extra than these hours to ensure his precise salary stated in certificates of sponsorship, which will meet the new minimum and going rate thresholds.
Changes in Global Talent Visa
The evidentiary requirements and endorsement norms for the Global Talent Visa are also going through some critical changes to reflect the suggestions and feedback from the endorsing bodies for the route. It aims to make the Global Talent Visa route more accessible for people who deserve it and to increase its acceptance.
These are only a few of the many changes made in the UK’s business immigration law. To learn more about them, we recommend consulting with business immigration solicitors in Cheshire or other cities, according to your preference. We will not discuss them here because compiling them all in a single post will make it gigantic. However, if you have any questions or doubts regarding the new changes, consult one of our expert business immigration solicitors.
We are Intime Immigration Limited(Intime Solicitors), a leading solicitor firm committed to helping clients navigate through the complex process of business immigration. Our immigration solicitors can also help you in your personal immigration journey. Get in touch with us to discuss your case.