Taylor Hampton Solicitors Immigration Update: The Migration Advisory Committee’s Rapid Review explained
This article reviews the New Immigration Salary List and what it means for UK Immigration applicants.
The latest development in immigration regulations heralds a rapid review of the new immigration salary list, commissioned by the Home Secretary to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). This new list replaces the shortage occupation list. Moreover it dovetails with the committee’s earlier suggestion for its abolition and the government’s commitment to overall reform. The MAC is set to deliver its preliminary report and recommendations by 23 February 2024.
What must the MAC Committee do now?
In a bid to address the urgency of the situation, the Home Secretary now tasks the committee with a review. In short they must analyse occupations, from the existing shortage occupation list and the committee’s recommended list from October 2023. Then, they must decide which should be included temporarily on the new immigration salary list. This temporary inclusion is pending a more comprehensive review to be initiated in the near future.
What is likely to change?
A notable change will see the Home Office adopting the National Statistics’ Standard Occupational Code 2020 coding system. The results from the committee’s October 2023 recommendations. Second, these codes will be used to update existing salary rates for various occupations by April 2024. Finally, the committee has provided SOC 2020 equivalents for the newly-recommended shortage occupation list in their October 2023 report.
Responding to the review request, the MAC Chair acknowledged the time constraints. However it noted the committee’s inability to conduct the typical stakeholder consultation within the specified timeframe. Instead, plans are to leverage available data and stakeholder engagement from the 2023 review of the list for robust analysis. Subsequently, a more extensive stakeholder engagement, including a Call for Evidence, is planned. This will provide a fuller review of the Immigration Salary List (ISL) later in the year.
Additional plans from the MAC Committee
In addition, the committee aims to use the rapid review to outline the specifics of the new salary thresholds. Concurrently, it will highlight potential benefits of the ISL that require clarification before a comprehensive review. The revised list is slated to be introduced in the spring immigration rules, effective from April 2024. Simultaneously, the ability for employers to recruit individuals at discounted salaries for roles on the list will be abolished. These changes mark big shifts in immigration policies, reflecting the government’s commitment to ongoing reform in this critical area.
These changes will clearly affect those looking for UK visas and citizenship.
Also, it will affect employers. Therefore, the time is now right to review the proposed changes and plan for future immigration needs. Leena Chouhan at Taylor Hampton is the law firm’s Head of Immigration and can help both individuals and employers navigate the pitfalls. Call us on 0207 427 5970.
The Migration Advisory Committee is reviewing the immigration salary list.