From 12 April 2023, minimum salary thresholds and going rates will increase for a number of visa routes. These changes reflect the upcoming increases in UK national minimum wage and national living wage rates.
By far the most popular working visa since the inception of the UK's new immigration system in 2021, the skilled worker visa requires applicants to meet a series of eligibility criteria, including minimum salary requirements.
While there are some exceptions, broadly, an applicant must be paid the minimum salary for the particular job role. Currently that is the higher of:
£25,600 per annum
£10.10 per hour
The 'going rate' set by the Home Office for the particular job role.
What is changing?
The general salary threshold will increase to £26,200.
The minimum hourly rate will increase to £10.75.
Salary allowances for PHD-level roles and those on the shortage occupation list will continue but the minimum thresholds will increase to £23,580 and £20,960 respectively.
New entrants and those taking up roles in education or healthcare will also need to meet or exceed £20,960.
The going rate will be based on a 37.5 hour working week, rather than 39 at present.
What do I need to do now?
The upcoming changes will only impact workers who are issued a certificate of sponsorship on or after 12 April 2023. Existing sponsored migrants will not be impacted by the rules changes, however employers should be aware of the increases when considering visas that are due for renewal.
The change to the going rate means that employers will need to pro-rate salaries for employees who will be contracted to do more than 37.5 hours, in order to determine eligibility for sponsorship. The reduction in hours does not mean that going rates will decrease across the board however.
Sponsors should familiarize themselves with the new rules around calculating salary for migrant workers with irregular working patterns who receive uneven pay as a result.
Salary thresholds are also changing across Global Business Mobility, Scale-up and Seasonal Worker visa routes. Ensure that you are up to date with the changes if you sponsor or are looking to sponsor workers under these routes.