Immigration law firm urges employers to act now on immigration rule changes

Sally McEwen

Nottingham’s OTB Legal, a UK immigration law firm, has issued an update over changes announced by the Government that include new immigration rules.

The updates include issues that face both individuals and businesses, with the Government setting out some of the most significant reforms it previously announced as part of its five-point plans aimed at cutting net migration and the abuse of the immigration system.

The following changes have been made to the partner route:

– The minimum income requirement for partner immigration applications will go up from £18,600 to £29,000 for applications made from 11 April 2024 (if relying on savings only the required amount will increase from £62,500 to £88,500)

– Applicants who have made a partner (fiancé(e)/spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner) application relying on the current financial requirements before 11 April 2024 which is successful will be able to rely on the lower amounts for their subsequent applications

– It remains possible for those who cannot meet the minimum income requirement to raise exceptional circumstances if refusal would amount to a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects the right to family and private life

Meanwhile, a new raft of Business Immigration updates have been published. Plans include:

– Abolishing the shortage occupation list and replacing it with a new Immigration Salary List

– Ending the 20% salary discount for shortage occupation roles

– Increasing the minimum salary threshold for skilled worker visas to £38,700

– Increasing the ‘going rate’ for many other jobs

– Roles on ‘national pay scales’ like NHS workers, teachers etc being exempt from the salary increases as will be health and social care roles

OTB Legal’s business immigration director, Sally McEwen, said:  “This announcement from the Government signals the most wide-ranging reform of UK work routes since Brexit.

“The Government has been clear that it wants to reduce net migration and businesses must act now to review potential applications and assign a certificate of sponsorship before 4th April 2024.

“We know from experience that there are processing delays that could slow this down, so it is imperative that business owners take the correct advice before it’s too late.”