UK government announces min wages for new applications under Skilled Worker route – Times of India

MUMBAI: From April 4, 2024, the general salary threshold for new applicants under the ‘Skilled Worker route’ will increase from GBP 26,200 to GBP 38,700 per year.
According to an information alert issued by Morgan Lewis, a law firm, “The planned salary threshold increase should not affect those already in the Skilled Worker route when they change sponsor, extend their visas, or settle.However, their minimum salary is expected to increase in line with the minimum salary requirement as set out in the relevant standard occupation code (as is the current standard practice).” The law firm adds that the going rates for specific occupation codes will be increased. There will be exemptions for some applicants, such as Health and Care visa applicants.
This announcement follows the earlier one on increase in immigration health charge. Effective Feb 6, this year, the rate for immigration health charge has increased from GBP 624 per year to GBP 1,035 per year, with a discounted rate available for students and those below 18.
The ‘Shortage Occupation List’ will also be replaced with a new ‘Immigration Salary List’ starting from March 14, 2024. Morgan Lewis states that the new Immigration Salary List will remove the 20% going rate discount to the minimum salary for shortage occupation roles and is expected to provide a more limited list of roles that are subject to a going rate reduction.
According to Morgan Lewis, employers may wish to accelerate hiring practices for roles that will not meet the salary thresholds in April 2024, and submit applications prior to these changes becoming applicable. Employers should note that Skilled Worker and Global Business Mobility visas can be submitted up to three months prior to an individual’s proposed start date.

Sponsor license renewal changes:

Another change that has been announced relates to sponsor license renewals.
According to Fragomen, a global immigration law firm, sponsors are currently required to renew their sponsorship license every four years, by submitting a renewal application before the expiry date. Initial and renewal application fees range from GBP 536 to GBP 1,476. Sponsors whose licenses are scheduled to expire before April 6, 2024, must still submit and pay for a renewal before the expiry date if they want to remain licensed.
An alert issued by Fragomen explains that: The UK Home Office has confirmed that it has automatically extended sponsor licenses that are due to expire on or after April 6, 2024, by another ten years without the need to apply or pay for a renewal fee. This extension is in anticipation of a rule change effective from April 6, 2024, whereby sponsor licenses will no longer need to be renewed. This policy change will reduce immigration-related costs for some employers who require a sponsorship license extension.

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