Starting on 12 April 2023, several visa routes will see an increase in minimum salary thresholds and going rates. These adjustments correspond to the forthcoming hikes in the UK’s national living wage rates and national minimum wage.
The skilled worker visa has been the most popular working visa under the UK’s new immigration system, which started in 2021. Applicants are required to fulfill various eligibility criteria, including meeting minimum salary requirements.
Although there are a few exceptions, generally speaking, an applicant must receive at least the minimum salary for their job role. At present, this amounts to the higher of:
- £ 10.10 / Hour
- £ 25,600 / Annum
- The ‘going rate’ set by the Home Office for the particular job role.
What is Changing?
- The general salary threshold will be raised to £26,200, meaning that most skilled worker visa applicants will have to be paid a salary of at least this amount to be eligible for the visa
- Increase the minimum hourly rate requirement to £10.75, which is higher than the current minimum wage requirement for most workers in the UK
- The salary allowances for Ph.D.-level roles and those on the shortage occupation list will still be in place, but the minimum salary thresholds for these roles will increase to £23,580 and £20,960 respectively
- A minimum salary threshold of £20,960 will also apply to new entrants to the workforce and those taking up roles in education or healthcare
- Employers will calculate the going rate for a particular job role based on a 37.5-hour working week, instead of the current requirement of 39 hours
What Do I Need to Do Now?
- The upcoming changes will affect workers who receive a certificate of sponsorship on or after 12 April 2023. However, the rule changes will not impact existing sponsored migrants. However, employers should consider the increases when renewing visas.
- Employers will need to prorate salaries for employees contracted to work more than 37.5 hours to determine sponsorship eligibility. The reduction in hours will not result in across-the-board decreases in going rates.
- Sponsors must understand the new regulations regarding calculating salaries for migrant workers with irregular working patterns and uneven pay.
- There will be changes to the salary thresholds for Global Business Mobility, Scale-up, and Seasonal Worker visa routes. If you sponsor or intend to sponsor workers under these routes, make sure you are familiar with the modifications.