Increase in Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Threshold From 4 April 2024

Increase in Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Threshold From 4 April 2024


From 4 April 2024, the minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker visa applicants is increasing to £38,700.

Previously, the minimum annual salary for a Skilled Worker visa was £26,200, with the new level representing a near 50% increase.

This new threshold applies to most applicants and signifies the Government’s intention to prioritise highly skilled workers who can demonstrably contribute to the UK economy.

In addition to considering the minimum salary threshold, applicants must also look at the relevant “going rate” for their occupation, which are  set by the Government and have now also been revised. Going rates represent the typical salary offered for similar positions within a particular field and location. Applicants must be paid the higher of the two figures: the new £38,700 minimum or the going rate for their role, unless a specific exception applies.

Exceptions to the new minimum salary threshold allow the applicant to earn a lower salary level, where certain conditions are met. The Immigration Salary List (previously the Shortage Occupation List) specifies roles with lower salary requirements – typically around £30,960 per year. Roles on this list are deemed vital but might not necessarily have the highest salaries.

Some concessions also exist for certain applicant groups. Recent graduates, individuals under 26, and those undergoing professional training may be eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa even if their offered salary falls between 70% and 90% of the going rate, provided it meets the minimum threshold of £30,960. Additionally, those with a relevant PhD may qualify for a visa with a slightly lower salary.


Impact of the Increased Salary Level

This latest increase in the Skilled Worker salary threshold forms part of the UK Government’s 5-point immigration plan, aimed at effectively reducing net migration by allowing only highly skilled overseas workers who are appropriately compensated for their expertise.

The new rules are expected to preclude overseas skilled workers from professions with traditionally lower salaries. In addition, smaller UK businesses that might not be able to afford such high salaries could face challenges in attracting foreign talent.

Skilled Worker applicants and sponsors will need to ensure they are working to the correct thresholds. Seek professional legal advice to ensure compliance with the new rules.




Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing & Content Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

Legal disclaimer


The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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