Effective April 4th, 2024, a major update to the UK immigration rules will significantly impact how employers sponsor skilled workers. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got the key points covered:

Salary Shakeup:

  • Get Ready to Pay More: The general salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas has skyrocketed from £26,200 to a whopping £38,700 per year. This means employers will need to offer competitive salaries to attract and retain skilled talent under the program.
  • Going Rate Revamp: Occupation-specific salary thresholds, also known as “going rates,” are also getting a significant bump. These thresholds are now based on the median salary (50th percentile) for each role, a significant increase from the previous 25th percentile. This means employers may need to re-evaluate salary structures to ensure fair compensation across the board.
  • Shortage List Shuffle: The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is being replaced with a new Immigration Salary List (ISL). This new list is much shorter, containing only 21 occupations where the government allows a slightly lower salary threshold of £30,960. However, it’s important to note that the going rate minimums still apply and have also increased.

Other Important Updates:

  • Transitional Relief: Existing visa holders with Certificates of Sponsorship assigned before April 4th, 2024, might benefit from transitional arrangements. These arrangements include a slightly lower general salary threshold of £29,000 (adjusted for inflation).
  • New Coding System: The Home Office is adopting a new occupational coding system (ONS Skills Occupational Codes – SOC 2020). This might require employers to re-evaluate the appropriate code for sponsored roles.

What this means for you:

  • Employers: Be prepared to adjust salary structures to meet the new minimums and potentially re-evaluate sponsored roles under the updated coding system.
  • Applicants: Research the new salary thresholds for your desired occupation and ensure your qualifications align with the sponsored role.
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