Skilled Worker Visa: Essential Updates for 2024

skilled worker visa

In a time of major policy updates, the UK’s Skilled Worker (SW) Visa is changing. Home Secretary James Cleverly announced these changes as part of a plan to better manage immigration. Discover the latest updates to the UK’s SW Visa effective April 4, 2024. From increased salary thresholds to tighter occupation lists and new entrant discounts, learn how these changes impact applicants and employers. Stay informed and prepared with our comprehensive guide. 

Key areas explored in this article

  • Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold Increases.
  • Refining the Shortage Occupation List.
  • Introducing the New Entrant Discount for Skilled Worker Visa Applicants.
  • Who is eligible for new entrant discount?
  • The Impact of Skilled Worker Visa Changes.
  • Navigating the Future. 
  • Seeking Help? Skilled Worker Visa Guidance Awaits!
  •  FAQ’s

Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold Increases

A key change is the rise in the minimum salary for the Skilled Worker Visa, from £26,200 to £38,700. Consequently, this move aims to ensure applicants are filling roles of genuine demand. Notably, It is imperative to understand that Health and Care Worker Visas and education roles on national pay scales are hereby, exceptions to this rule. 

Refining the Shortage Occupation List

Furthermore, the refinement of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)  a strategic move to align the Skilled Worker Visa program more closely with the evolving demands of the UK’s labor market. By doing so, the government ensures that the SW Visa targets occupations critically in need. Additionally, this refinement involves a detailed analysis of current workforce shortages, prioritising roles that are crucial for the country’s economic development. Consequently, companies looking to sponsor overseas talent must adhere to stricter criteria before qualifying for salary exceptions. Therefore, for employers this means a more rigorous process to justify lower salary offers for positions listed on the updated SOL.

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Introducing the New Entrant Discount for Skilled Worker Visa Applicants

A particularly noteworthy component of the Skilled Worker Visa revisions encompasses special considerations for “new entrants” to the workforce. Specifically designed to facilitate the employment of younger professionals and recent graduates in the UK, this policy enables them to be sponsored under the SW Visa at a reduced salary threshold compared to their more seasoned counterparts.

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Who is eligible for new entrant discount?

Navigating the new entrant discount within the SW Visa program requires understanding its eligibility criteria. Here’s who qualifies:

– Young Applicants: The discount is available to applicants under the age of 26 at the time of applying for entry clearance or permission to stay.

– Postdoctoral Positions: If the job offer is for a postdoctoral role in specific occupation codes, such as Chemical Scientists (2111), Biological Scientists and Biochemists (2112), and others within the natural and social science professions, including Higher Education Teaching Professionals (2311).

– UK-Regulated Professions: Additionally, applicants working towards a recognised professional qualification in a UK-regulated profession are eligible..

– Professional Registration or Charter: Those working towards full registration or chartered status with the relevant professional body for their sponsored job qualify.

– Former Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrants: If the applicant’s most recent permission was as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant and the application is made within the UK.

– Recent UK Graduates: The discount also extends to recent UK graduates or those about to graduate, provided they meet additional specific requirements.

This discount acknowledges the barriers new entrants might face due to higher salary thresholds and aims to attract young, skilled professionals to contribute to the UK’s dynamic workforce. 

The Impact of Skilled Worker Visa Changes

Consequently, the salary increase, along with the Shortage Occupation List update and new entrant discount, signifies a tactical shift in immigration policy. Additionally, these changes seek to harmonise the demand for sector-specific skilled workers with broader migration management goals. Therefore, employers must reassess their sponsorship strategies, increasingly emphasising the development of local talent. Similarly, for new professionals looking to navigate the visa process, grasping the nuances of these updates is essential.

Amidst the evolving landscape of UK immigration law, making informed decisions and adhering to stringent standards remain our most robust defence. Place your trust in Dawn Solicitors, where safeguarding your legal integrity and ensuring your security stand as our foremost commitments.

Navigating the Future

As the implementation date nears, staying informed is crucial. Consequently, prospective Skilled Worker Visa applicants, particularly those newly entering the job market, need to thoroughly understand these changes. Furthermore, employers must adapt their recruitment strategies to comply with the upcoming regulations.

Moreover, existing Skilled Worker Visa holders will be relieved to know they’re exempt from the new £38,700 salary benchmark when seeking job changes, visa extensions, or permanent residency. Nevertheless, the Home Office anticipates these individuals will see their salaries grow in alignment with the earnings of UK-based workers. Likewise, individuals on Health and Care Visas, along with specific educational roles, will not be subject to this increased financial requirement. These significant updates, announced on March 14, 2024, are poised for implementation on April 4, offering a new landscape for skilled immigration to the UK.

For more details and updates, applicants and sponsors should book an appointment. This resource offers comprehensive guidance on the Skilled Worker Visa and other immigration options, ensuring readiness for the upcoming changes. 

Seeking Help? Skilled Worker Visa Guidance Awaits!

Should you require any assistance with the above changes or seek clarity, feel free to contact Dawn Solicitors directly. Alternatively, booking an appointment is a seamless process. The qualified team stands ready to assist you. They offer expert guidance and support tailored to your specific needs, ensuring you navigate these updates with confidence.

skilled worker visa changes 2024


  1. What significant changes are coming to the Skilled Worker Visa in 2024?

    In 2024, the SW Visa is undergoing notable updates. Firstly, the minimum salary threshold is set to increase to £38,700, aiming to attract highly skilled professionals. Additionally, the Shortage Occupation List will be refined, focusing more precisely on the UK’s immediate labor needs. Moreover, a new entrant discount introduces a lower salary requirement for eligible young professionals and recent graduates, making the visa more accessible to emerging talent.

  2. How can applicants and employers prepare for these changes?

    For applicants, particularly those qualifying for the new entrant discount, it’s essential to grasp the details of your eligibility and, therefore, tailor your application to meet these criteria. Similarly, employers ought to reevaluate their recruitment plans, given the upcoming adjustments to salary thresholds and the revisions to the Shortage Occupation List. Consequently, both parties will navigate the changes more effectively by proactively preparing and staying informed.

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