Upcoming visa changes

By 15th March 2024 No Comments


UK Immigration Update on amendments to visa immigration rules

Taylor Hampton Solicitors, a leading firm specializing in immigration law, is dedicated to providing comprehensive insights into the recent substantial amendments to the Immigration Rules. These changes, set to come into effect on April 4th and 11th, will signal a significant shift in the landscape of UK immigration policy.

What are the upcoming visa changes afoot?

First, the initial alteration introduced by the Home Office is about the minimum earnings threshold for individuals applying for the Skilled Worker visa route. Previously standing at £26,200, this threshold is now being raised by a substantial 48% to £38,700. Simultaneously, the financial requirement for family or partner/spouse visas is being increased from £18,600 to £29,000.

Second, these changes, delineated in a comprehensive 292-page statement of changes (HC 590), are part of a broader strategy initiated by the government to mitigate family, study, and work-related immigration. In particular, they respond to concerns over levels of net migration. Moreover they aim to recalibrate the immigration system to align with broader economic objectives.

Third these adjustments to skilled worker visa criteria will be implemented from April 4th, while changes to family visa requirements will take effect from April 11th. By enforcing these modifications, the government seeks to foster a high-wage, high-productivity, and high-skill economy. Thereby they ensure that businesses invest in the resident workforce rather than excessively relying on migration.

What are the challenges?

However, recognizing the potential challenges posed by the heightened financial thresholds, particularly for individuals and families, the explanatory memorandum accompanying the changes outlines exceptions. Individuals unable to meet the new £29,000 threshold for a family/partner visa may still be granted leave under specific circumstances. These exceptions include situations where sustaining family life outside the UK presents insurmountable obstacles. For instance, where it would be unreasonable for a child to leave the UK. Or, alternatively, where refusal of the application would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences.

In addition to the adjustments in skilled worker and family visa criteria, the changes also encompass the abolishment of the Shortage Occupation List.  In fact, in upcoming visa changes, this is being replaced by the Immigration Salary List. As such this revision, informed by a review conducted by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), reflectsefforts to streamline the immigration system. It will ensure that eligible occupations are subject to appropriate salary thresholds.

Moreover, the alterations extend to various other aspects of immigration policy.  Specifically, including revisions to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route, and several appendices within the Immigration Rules. Notably, the amendment to Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse (VDA) aims to broaden the scope of immediate settlement provisions. Actually, these include partners with pre-settled status under the EUSS. Thus, underscoring the government’s commitment to supporting vulnerable individuals affected by domestic abuse.


Upcoming visa changes photo of Tom Pursglove UK minister for home affairs

Tom Pursglove

Parliamentary Comment

In a written statement to Parliament, Immigration Minister Tom Pursglove elucidated on the rationale behind the changes. Pursglove emphasised the government’s resolve to curb immigration abuse and reduce net migration. These adjustments are envisioned to contribute to the broader objective of fostering a high-wage, high-productivity, and high-skill economy while ensuring that the immigration system remains fair, transparent, and conducive to national interests.

Taylor Hampton Solicitors recognizes the profound implications of these changes for individuals and businesses navigating the immigration landscape. As such, our firm remains committed to providing expert guidance and support to clients, ensuring that they are well-equipped to navigate the evolving regulatory framework effectively. With our extensive experience and in-depth understanding of immigration law, we stand ready to assist clients in overcoming any challenges posed by these regulatory changes and achieving their immigration objectives.

For more information contact: Leena Chouhan: [email protected]