New Salary Thresholds for Overseas Skilled Work Visas Implemented in the UK

On Thursday, the UK put into effect significantly elevated salary thresholds for foreign workers, including those from India, applying for Skilled Worker visas. These stringent measures, introduced to reduce Britain’s overall migration numbers, mark a notable increase in the financial requirements for applicants.

Under the Skilled Worker visa category, the salary threshold for an application has surged from GBP 26,200 to GBP 38,700—an impressive 48% rise. The UK Home Office underscores that these adjustments form part of a comprehensive set of measures aimed at curbing immigration figures and safeguarding domestic workers from being undercut by cheap labor from overseas.

According to UK Home Secretary James Cleverly, these changes signal a decisive shift towards a more selective immigration system that prioritizes individuals with the skills essential to the UK’s economy. He emphasized the importance of ensuring fairness for British workers and expressed the government’s commitment to delivering on its promise to reduce immigration numbers.

Additionally, starting April 11, there will be a gradual increase in the minimum income required for overseas applicants to bring their dependents on Family Visas, rising from GBP 18,600 to GBP 29,000. By early next year, this threshold is set to align with the Skilled Worker visa requirement of GBP 38,700, ensuring that family dependents are adequately supported financially upon their arrival in the UK.

Moreover, the UK government has abolished the Shortage Occupation List, signaling its stance against sectors becoming overly reliant on immigration. Instead, a new Immigration Salary List (ISL) has been introduced, focusing on skilled roles experiencing shortages and prioritizing investment in the local workforce. The Home Office stresses the importance of preventing wage reduction and encouraging employers to prioritize the training and hiring of British workers.

These changes are expected to impact Indian nationals, who currently constitute a significant portion of skilled workers, healthcare professionals, and students from overseas. While recent statistics indicate a slight decline in skilled worker visas issued to Indians, they remain one of the largest groups of students under the post-study Graduate visa route.

As the UK continues to review its immigration policies, organizations like the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK are advocating for the preservation of pathways like the Graduate Route visa, which have been instrumental in attracting international talent to British universities. However, concerns persist that changes to these routes could deter prospective students and impact the UK’s higher education sector and economy as a whole.

Exit mobile version