UK New Net Migration Measures – A Guide

UK New Net Migration Measures – A Guide's photoBy Ernest Emeka
Fri Dec 22 2023
UK New Net Migration Measures – A Guide

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The new United Kingdom’s net migration plan has been designed to reduce migration and stop the misuse of health and social care visas. In addition, it will restrict student dependents who would have been eligible to come to the country. Here is what to know about this policy released on December 21, 2023:

UK New Net Migration Measures – A Guide

Plan To Cut Net Migration


Family Visas

The minimum income for family visas will be raised in stages

1.    Stage One: £29,000 on Spring 2024

2.    Stage Two: £34,500

3.    Stage Three: £38,700

Read: Top UK Scholarships For International Students

Health and Social Care

1.    The UK will stop overseas care workers from bringing dependents

2.    The rules will apply to new visa applications

3.    Firms not registered with the CQC cannot sponsor new workers.

The policy package has the following measures:

Overseas care workers will not be able to bring dependants. In addition, social care firms in England that wish to sponsor care worker visas to provide services will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The country will Increase the minimum earnings threshold for Skilled Worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 and raise the individual occupation ‘going rate’ thresholds in line with the median full-time wage for equivalent jobs in 2023.

Migrants on the Health and Social Care Visa route will be exempt from the £38,700 salary threshold applied to skilled workers. The exemption can help the country to continue bringing healthcare workers into the care sector and meet NHS needs. Education workers on national pay-scale occupations are exempted too.

The United Kingdom will reform the Shortage Occupation List into an Immigration Salary List (ISL). As a result, it can end the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations – commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the list's composition in line with the increased salary thresholds.

The policy will raise the minimum income requirement for family visas. The intention remains to align this with the new minimum general salary threshold for skilled workers, which is £38,700. This will ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can support financially and will apply to all British and settled sponsors under the five-year partner route.

Read: 5 Easiest Countries With Flexible Immigration Rules To Immigrate To  

The country will increase the minimum income for family visas incrementally, in stages, to give predictability to families.

a)    In Spring 2024, it will increase the threshold to £29,000, which is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs at the skill level of RQF3[1], moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500) and finally the 50th percentile (currently £38,700 and the level at which the General Skilled Worker threshold is set).

b)    There will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement, to ensure that British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants required to meet the General Skilled Worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored.

c)    The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will review the Graduate route.

Until the Immigration Rules are amended, the current thresholds and policies remain in place

For those currently in the UK on routes that will be subject to change, here is what to know:

UK New Net Migration Measures – A Guide

Carers and Senior Carers

These changes will be introduced as soon as possible in 2024.

a)    Care workers (SOC[2] code 6145) and senior care workers (SOC code 6146) already in the route will be able to remain with their dependents, including extending and changing employer (within these SOC codes) and settlement.​

b)    Where a care worker or senior care worker is in the route before the Immigration Rules 

c)    change but has not yet brought dependants, they will be allowed to bring dependants during their sponsorship (on this visa).

d)    Individuals in the UK on any other route, including where that route permits dependants, who switch into the care visa as a care worker or senior care worker after this date will not be able to stay with (or bring over) dependants.

e)    Care providers sponsoring workers in exclusively non-regulated activities (and therefore not required to be registered with the CQC) before the rules change should be able to continue to sponsor these workers, including for extensions to their visa on those terms, but not hire new ones.

Salary Thresholds

These changes will be introduced via Immigration Rules and implemented in April 2024.


a)    Those already in the Skilled Worker route before the Immigration Rules changes should be exempt from the new median salary levels when they change sponsor, extend, or settle.  

b)    The country expects their pay to progress at the same rate as resident workers; therefore, they would be subject to the updated 25th percentiles using the latest pay data when they next apply to change employment, extend their stay, or settle. This is in line with normal practice.

Immigration Salary List 

The country will commission the MAC in January.


      i.        The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) will be renamed the Immigration Salary List, and the MAC will advise on which of the current SOL occupations should remain on the list in line with the new salary thresholds.

    ii.        The current SOL will remain in place until the new salary thresholds are implemented in late Spring.

Family Migration Minimum Income


      i.        Those who already have a family visa within the five-year partner route or who apply before the minimum income threshold is raised will continue to have their applications assessed against the current income requirement and will not be required to meet the increased threshold. This will also be the case for children seeking to join or accompany parents.

    ii.        Anyone granted a fianc(é)e visa before the minimum income threshold is raised will also be assessed against the current income requirement when they apply for a family visa within the five-year partner route.

   iii.        Those already in the UK on a different route who apply to switch to the five-year partner route after the minimum income requirement has been increased will be subject to the new income requirement.

Graduate Route Review

      i.        The MAC will review the visa route to ensure that it is operating in the best interests and priorities of the UK and ensuring the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system is maintained.

    ii.        The country will commission the MAC in January, and we expect their work to continue until late 2024.

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