UK Immigration Home Office Update
On 21 December 2023, the Home Office published a new factsheet following on from their initial announcement on 4 December 2023 that is summarised as follows:
- Care workers and senior care workers already on the Health and Care Worker route will be able to remain with their dependants, including extending, and changing employers, and settlement provided they remain in the same occupation code.
- Those already in the Skilled Worker route before the Immigration Rules change should be exempt from the new salary levels when they change sponsor, extend, or settle.
- In Spring 2024 (no date yet confirmed) the UK Government will raise the minimum income threshold to £29,000, moving to £34,500 later, and finally £38,700.
- There will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement, to ensure that British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants who are required to meet the Skilled Worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored.
- Those who already have a family visa within the five-year partner route, or who apply before the minimum income threshold is raised, will continue to have their applications assessed against the current income requirement and will not be required to meet the increased threshold. This will also be the case for children seeking to join or accompany parents.
- Anyone granted a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa before the minimum income threshold is raised will also be assessed against the current income requirement when they apply for a family visa within the five-year partner route.
- Those already in the UK on a different route who apply to switch into the five-year partner route, after the minimum income requirement has been increased, will be subject to the new income requirements.
This announcement comes as a massive relief for families and sponsored workers already in the UK, or in the process of applying for permission to come to or remain in the UK under the existing rules. As expected, there was an enormous amount of backlash following the initial announcement on 4 December 2023, and it is unsurprising that the Home Office have backtracked on some of their initial statements regarding changes to the Immigration Rules.
Here is the original factsheet for further reading.
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