British Skilled Worker Visa: Massive Pay Increase on April 4th

 

Comprehensive Report on the Salary Threshold Increase for UK Skilled Worker Visas, Effective April 4, 2024

Overview

The wage requirements for skilled workers visas will be significantly raised by the UK government and will take effect on April 4, 2024. This constitutes a big change for people thinking about applying for this visa category, which has serious ramifications for UK firms with sponsor licences. It is important to remember that in order to qualify for the existing threshold, Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for migrant workers must be assigned by 7 p.m. on April 2, 2024.

An in-depth analysis of salary threshold increases

Increase in the General Salary Threshold

From £26,200 to £38,700 per year, the overall minimum salary criteria for the skilled worker visa has increased. There are several exceptions, such as for carers and health care providers. Numerous employment categories will be impacted by this significant increase, which is also expected to have an effect on industries that depend on skilled foreign labour.

 

Increases in Sector-Specific “Going Rate”

The “going rate” for particular job roles will also specifically increase as part of the adjustments. The government-set rates for certain occupations may exceed the minimum wage of £38,700, so it is necessary to carefully examine the going rate salary listings for each one.

Strategic Consequences of Utilising a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Assign CoS by April 2, 2024, at 7:00 p.m.

Certificates of Sponsorship granted before 7 p.m. on April 2, 2024, will be assessed based on the current salary thresholds, giving candidates and employers a chance to consider them before the hikes go into effect.

CoS Assignment Time

Employers and visa applicants may benefit from the option to assign a CoS up to three months prior to the submission of a visa application.

Tailored Exemptions and Lower Salary Ceilings

The Threshold for Health and Care Workers Rises

The wage criteria for occupations requiring a health and care visa will rise by a lower amount of £29,000 annually, in line with the critical need for these experts in the UK. Furthermore, a lower wage criterion of £23,200 or the occupation-specific threshold, whichever is higher, is available for several jobs in the health and care industry.

Fresh Arrivals

New entrants to the UK employment market, including recent graduates and those switching from a Graduate visa, are nevertheless supported by the policy and may be eligible for reduced wage thresholds.

Benefits for PhD Holders

Lower pay criteria apply to applicants with a relevant Ph.D. in an attempt to draw highly skilled workers to the UK.

Transitional Actions for Visa Holders in Existence

Extensions of Visas and Changes of Employer

Depending on the going rate for their profession, the £29,000 requirement may apply to current visa holders wishing to extend their stay or switch jobs.

Employer Monitoring and Compliance

Sponsor licence holders have more responsibilities.

Increased monitoring of UK employers holding sponsor licences to ensure they adhere to the higher wage criteria may result from the salary threshold hikes.

Sponsor licence holders’ penalties for noncompliance

If employers don’t reach the new pay standards, they risk serious repercussions such as penalties, suspension, or loss of their sponsor licence. Sponsor licence holders must comprehend and apply the modifications in order to prevent such consequences.

Latest Changes

Salary Ceilings Using ASHE and New SOC Data

The minimum wage requirement for a skilled worker visa application will increase to £38,700 or the going rate for the position as stated in the revised Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2020 as of April 4, 2024. The occupation code number for specific roles is affected as this replaces the prior SOC 2010.

Modifications to the Salary Reference Points

The median (50th percentile) of the 2023 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) data will replace the 25th percentile of the 2021 ASHE data as the reference data used to determine these wages. As such, the minimum income requirement for a number of positions will be considerably more than £38,700.

Transitional Pay Requirements for Visa Holders who Already Have One

For those who already have a skilled worker visa and are applying to renew it or switch jobs within the UK, transitional pay will be applicable. These workers’ minimum pay will be the greater of £29,000 (up from £26,200) or the market wage for their position, determined by taking the 25th percentile of the 2023 ASHE statistics.

Application Period for Temporary Measures

Applications submitted by those who applied before April 4, 2030, and were awarded a skilled worker visa before April 4, 2024, will be eligible for these transitional provisions.

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