Changes to skilled worker visa rules

The Government has announced that it will introduce measures to reduce net migration. The Home Secretary, James Cleverly, confirmed last night that a plan will be introduced to cut net migration and abuse of the immigration system.

In brief the plan is set to introduce the following changes from next spring:

  • The minimum salary required for migrants to come to the UK via the skilled worker visa route will increase from £26,200 to £38,700 (although migrants coming through the health and care visa route will be exempt from this increase).
  • The minimum income required for British citizens and those settled in the UK who want family members to join them will also be increased to £38,700.
  • The 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations will end. The Shortage Occupation List will be replaced by a new Immigration Salary List which will retain a general threshold discount.
  • The Migration Advisory Committee (the Committee) will review the new Immigration Salary List against the increased salary thresholds with a view to reducing the number of occupations on the list.
  • The annual immigration health surcharge will increase from £624 to £1,035.

The Committee will also be asked to review the Graduate visa route to ensure it works in the best interests of the UK and to ensure steps are being taken to prevent abuse.

These are significant changes, which are being introduced to cut migration levels. The Government has stated that together the changes would mean that around 300,000 people who came to the UK last year would now not be able to.

If you have any questions in relation to this, please contact Catherine Hope at or on 0191 226 3801.

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