Statement of Changes to UK Immigration Rules Announced

March 22, 2024

The UK government published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, providing details for the much-anticipated changes to sponsored worker salary thresholds, the new Immigration Salary List, and increased income thresholds under family routes.

These measures give effect to the UK government’s five-point plan aimed at reducing net migration announced in December 2023, detailed in our recent LawFlash.


From 4 April 2024, the minimum salary threshold for Skilled Workers will increase: The general salary threshold will be raised from £26,200 to £38,700.

Going rates for roles are also being raised from the 25th percentile to the median. Skilled Worker migrants must meet the requirements for the minimum salary threshold and the going rate for their role.

Workers sponsored for Health and Care visas, or in occupations where going rates are set using national pay scales, are exempt from the new median salary requirements. Instead, they will be subject to the following increased threshold: For Health and Care Workers, the general salary threshold will be increased from £26,200 to £29,000.

Transitional provisions have been put in place and Skilled Workers who are already in the route before 4 April 2024 and are extending their stay, changing employers, or settling in the UK, will be subject to the new general salary threshold of £29,000. They will still need to meet the updated going rate for their occupation, which may be higher than their current rate.

The existing salary discounts to holders of relevant Ph.D. qualifications and new entrants to the labour market will be retained.


From 4 April 2024, the minimum salary threshold for GBM routes will increase as follows:

  • The general salary threshold will increase from £45,800 to £48,500.
  • The salary threshold for Graduate Trainees will increase from £24,220 to £25,410.
  • The threshold for the Scale-up route will increase from £34,600 to £36,300.


The Shortage Occupation List will be removed and replaced by a new Immigration Salary List on 4 April 2024. The new list will include particular roles that the government decides should be offered a discounted salary threshold, rather than being a list of all occupations experiencing labour shortages. The new list will be much shorter, and fewer roles will benefit from these discounts.

A full review from the Migration Advisory Committee is expected later in 2024, so further changes may be implemented in the future.

Occupations included on the Immigration Salary List will benefit from a 20% discount to the salary threshold. The specific amount will depend on the applicable salary threshold:

  • The general £38,700 threshold will be reduced to £30,960.
  • The lower £29,000 threshold will be reduced to £23,200.

The current 20% discount to the going rate requirement will be removed, so migrants will need to meet the standard going rate for their job. This rate may be higher than the minimum salary threshold, so employers should take care to ensure that the role meets both requirements.

In another update, the resident labour market test considerations for shortage occupations will be removed for Creative Workers. As a replacement, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are making a unique contribution to creative life in the UK.


Skilled Workers undertaking supplementary employment will now be eligible to carry out employment in any role that is in an eligible occupation code under the Skilled Worker route.

Skilled Workers can already carry out up to 20 hours per week of supplementary work, provided they are still doing the job they are sponsored to do, if the work is in the same occupation code and at the same level as the job they are sponsored to do. While previously work in other codes was restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, Skilled Workers can now expand their supplementary work to include all other eligible occupation codes and roles on the Immigration Salary List.

It is understood that the changes to supplementary work will only be applicable for Certificates of Sponsorship that were assigned after the rules changed on 4 April 2024.


Changes are being made to the Standard Occupational Classification system to align with an updated version. Many codes will receive a new number, and codes that are no longer eligible for sponsorship will be removed. Employers should check that a role is still eligible for sponsorship in new applications for Skilled Worker or Global Business Mobility visas.

Transitional measures are in place for migrants who already hold status in these categories and will be looking to extend their permission or settle in the UK.


The minimum income requirement for partners and children of British nationals and individuals settled in the UK will increase from £18,600 to £29,000 from 11 April 2024.

However, children will no longer have an additional income requirement on the application. The minimum threshold will be a flat rate, irrespective of how many children are included in a family application.


Employers will generally need to meet higher salary requirements under the new rules. The rules will also affect jobs that can be sponsored under the Skilled Worker and Global Business Mobility categories, and lower skilled work will no longer be eligible for sponsorship. When an existing sponsored migrant approaches their visa expiry date in the UK, an assessment must be carried out to ensure that the migrant meets the requirements for an extension after these changes, and employers may need to increase salaries to continue sponsorship.


While changes in the family routes may not directly affect employers, their employees may have permission in these categories or they may sponsor their dependant family members. The sponsoring British national or settled person may have concerns about their salary meeting the updated requirements to continue living with their family members in the UK.

The assessment of salary requirements will be complex in the coming years as transition measures will apply to migrants who applied before 4 April 2024. Please reach out to our Morgan Lewis team for assistance with an assessment or with any concerns regarding sponsored workforces.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following:

Shannon A. Donnelly (Washington, DC)
Yvette Allen (London)
Carina Bryk (London)
Loleini Williams (London)