Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants has provided valuable information regarding the expected changes to UK immigration rules in Spring 2024. While it is important to note that the draft immigration rules have not been published yet, Breytenbachs has gathered information from official UK Parliament statements to provide guidance and recommendations on minimising the impact of these rule changes.
Expected Changes to UK Immigration Rules
Health and Care Visas
The UK government intend to lay rules before Parliament on 19 February 2024 that will come into effect on 11 March 2024. From this date:
- Care and senior care workers will no longer be able to bring their dependents (partners and children) to the UK.
- Henceforth, the Care Quality Commission must regulate firms that sponsor care workers.
The good news is that the new rules will not impact care workers whose dependents are currently in the UK. Care workers who wish to bring their dependents to the UK should submit their applications before the deadline of 11 March 2024.
Care firms sponsoring care workers should contact Breytenbachs to ensure compliance with the new sponsorship requirements.
Skilled Worker Visas
The UK government intend to lay rules affecting the Skilled Worker Route before Parliament on 14 March 2024. These rules will come into effect on 4 April 2024. From this date:
- The minimum income threshold will rise from £26,200 to £38,700.
- The good news is that applicants on the Health and Care Worker Visa route will be exempt from this threshold.
- Workers on national pay scale occupations will also be exempt from the higher minimum income threshold.
Shortage Occupation List
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is currently doing a review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) to determine which occupations should be added to an Immigration Salary List. This list will replace the SOL. We expect the Immigration Salary List to come into effect in early April 2024.
The government plans to lay rules before Parliament affecting the SOL on 14 March 2024. These rules will have the effect of removing the 20% going rate discount for occupations on SOL. However, it will also temporarily add any occupations recommended by the MAC to the new Immigration Salary List.
Family Visas (Family members of Persons Settled in the UK or British Nationals)
The UK government intend to lay rules affecting Family Visas before Parliament on 14 March 2024. These rules will come into effect on 11 April 2024. From this date:
- The new minimum income for family visas will rise to £29,000.
- The UK Government intends to raise this minimum income incrementally to £34,500 and up to £38,700 by early 2025.
Breytenbachs specifically want to highlight the following in terms of Family Visas:
- Applications under the Family Appendix FM, submitted before 11 April 2024, will continue to be subject to the old financial requirements and will not be (immediately) affected by the new higher minimum income requirement;
- People receiving certain benefits are subject to different and less strict financial requirements and
- If there are exceptional circumstances, the financial requirement can be met in a different way.
Breytenbachs consultants can provide advice on alternative ways to meet the financial requirement.
Further Recommendations by Breytenbachs
Breytenbachs expect that there will be transitional provisions for migrants already in the UK on these routes. We will update our clients on the finer details as they become available.
Clients who qualify to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa or Family Visa (Spouse and Children) should apply sooner rather than later under the current rules. Any upcoming extension applications should also be made if your current immigration status allows this. Your Breytenbachs consultant will be able to advise.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants is highly recommended for their qualified and experienced consultants who can assist you in preparing the best application for a successful UK visa outcome.
Take the stress out of your UK visa application. Contact Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants today.