3 BIG CHANGES FOR UK SKILLED WORKER VISA – APRIL 2023 UPDATE | UK WORK PERMIT APPLICATION
You should not disregard these revisions to the UK Skilled Worker Visa. This article will have an in-depth look at the changes announced for the UK Skilled Worker Visa route on 9 March 2023. Buckle up and take note of these changes while you read along.
First and foremost, the Minimum Salary Thresholds
Holders of sponsor licenses ought to be aware of the impending changes to the procedure for skilled worker visas, which were announced on March 9, 2023.
The Home Office has decided to increase the Skilled Worker visa salary threshold from April 2023 because of the increased National Living wage. The minimum hourly rate will increase from £10.10 per hour to £10.70 per hour. On the other hand, the minimum gross annual salary threshold for the majority of applications will rise by £600, increasing from £25,600 to £26,200.
- It is important to note that these changes will ultimately impact various sponsored roles across different industries, such as hospitality, in which salaries are often close to the minimum threshold.
- Moreover, the reduced minimum gross annual pay for occupations requiring qualified Ph.D. candidates will rise from £23,040 to £23,580.
- Additionally, between £20,480 to £20,960 will be added to the discounted minimum gross annual income for several STEM positions, healthcare positions, professions on the shortage occupation list, and new hires.
Secondly, the Updated Going Rates
Additionally, the going rates for each profession have been updated. The Statement of Amendments to the Immigration Rules, published on March 9, 2023, has information about these changes on page 39.
Moving on, it should be noted that going rates will be calculated according to a 37.5-hour work week instead of 39. Workers engaged on a contract basis for extended weekly working hours – particular subjects affected by this development. This could potentially mean a decrease in their wages, as their salaries may not be able to cover the costs of sponsoring them.
When will The Changes become Effective?
You should be aware that the preceding discussion of the going rate and salary adjustments only applies to visa applicants. These applicants must have submitted their applications using a certificate of sponsorship issued on or after April 2023. This means applications submitted using a sponsorship certificate issued in March 2023 will still follow the previous Immigration Rules.
How Does This Affect Existing Sponsored Workers?
Employers of existing sponsored employees should unwind because no immediate immigration action is necessary. However, employers will have to ensure that workers’ salaries are following the new thresholds. When the time comes for visa extensions and settlement, this must be taken into consideration.
Salary Calculation for Irregular Working Patterns
The Home Office has provided rules for calculating salaries for jobs with an irregular working pattern. This includes salaries that change weekly, leading to unfair compensation.
- First and foremost, work that exceeds 48 hours in some weeks counts in the salary thresholds. That is if the average in the regular cycle remains limited to 48 hours or less. Also, note that a regular cycle can not be longer than 17 weeks.
- Secondly, all unpaid rest weeks will also count in the average while determining the fulfillment of salary thresholds.
- Lastly, unpaid rest weeks will not count as absences from work. For instance, an applicant works 60 hours a week for 2 weeks at £12 per hour and goes on an unpaid rest week. The applicant will be considered to have worked 40 hours a week on average. As a result, the applicant will have an annual salary of £24,960.
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