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Everything You Need to Know about the UK Immigration Law Changes in 2024

News & Articles

Everything You Need to Know about the UK Immigration Law Changes in 2024

News & Articles Chester Manchester UK
Immigration Lawyer UK

In 2024, the immigration laws of the United Kingdom have experienced major changes that affect both businesses and individuals looking to reside and work in the nation. These changes result in new considerations and challenges, including salary thresholds, visa requirements, and compliance measures. 

In this blog, we will explain the significant changes in immigration law in the UK and how immigration lawyers can help you.

Skilled Worker Visa – Higher Salary Thresholds: 

The Skilled Worker Visa, a visa important for professionals coming to work in the UK, has seen one of the significant changes. Earlier, the minimum yearly salary needed was £26,200 but now starting from 4th April 2024 it has gone up significantly to £38,700 per year. This adjustment is made with the intent that skilled workers are paid salaries closer to the median full-time wage in their occupations.

  • Impact on Industries and Employers: Industries like technology and healthcare, which depend on skilled workers, may face challenges. Employers may be required to adapt their hiring methods in order to fulfill the new salary requirements. This could mean they have to provide more competitive salaries to attract suitable applicants.

Spouse Visa – Increased Minimum Income Requirement:

For those looking to join their partners in the UK, the Spouse Visa requirements have also seen significant changes. Previously set at £18,600 annually, the minimum income requirement has been phased to increase:

  • April 11th, 2024: Rises to £29,000.
  • Later in 2024: Expected further increase to around £34,500.
  • Early 2025: Final increase to approximately £38,700.

These phased increases may pose challenges for couples where the UK partner does not meet the higher income thresholds. Families planning to reunite under these visas will need to navigate these changes carefully.

Student Visa – Dependents’ Restrictions:

From January 1st, 2024, Student Visas have experienced changes in terms of dependents. Before this date, the majority of international students were able to bring their dependents (either partners or children less than 18 years old) with them to the UK. But now under new rules, only higher-level degree students can bring dependents along like those who are studying for Master’s or PhD programs.

  • Impact on Students and Families: This change is likely to affect families planning to study together in the UK, potentially forcing them to reconsider their plans or manage separations during their studies.

Additional Changes Affecting Employers and Individuals:

Aside from the major visa category changes, several additional amendments have been implemented:

  • Care Worker Visas: From March 11th, 2024, new social care workers cannot bring dependents on their visas.
  • Sponsor Licences: The rule to renew sponsor licenses every four years has been discarded, making it simpler for businesses.

Impact on Employers: 

These changes bring several implications for UK employers:

  • Increased Recruitment Costs: Higher salary thresholds and additional fees increase the cost of sponsoring skilled foreign workers.
  • Talent Pool Restrictions: The changes may limit the pool of eligible candidates, particularly for lower-paid skilled roles.
  • Administrative Burden: Employers must navigate revised eligibility criteria and stay updated on evolving regulations.
  • Compliance Risks: The heightened penalties for illegal working underscore the importance of thorough right-to-work checks and adherence to immigration laws.

Recommended Actions for Employers:

To mitigate the impact of these changes, UK employers should consider the following actions:

  • Review Current Workforce Needs: Assess annually the number of sponsored employees required.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Revise budgets to accommodate increased sponsorship costs.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Obtain legal advice from skilled immigration lawyers in the UK to ensure compliance and develop effective strategies.

Adapting to the Changes:

To manage the changing UK immigration landscape, it is important for both individuals and businesses to take an active role. They should keep up with the newest regulations, as well as seek guidance from immigration lawyers so that they can follow the rules correctly and increase the possibilities of achieving what they desire.At Intime Immigration Solicitors, our team of seasoned and competent immigration lawyers in the UK can help you with visa applications and make sure everything follows the rules.

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