Future changes to visa rules

Updated 19 January 2024: Thank you Freemovement: Scientific Age Testing of Children Becomes Law

The Immigration (Age Assessments) Regulations 2024 providing for the use of scientific age testing of children have come into force on 10 January 2024. A reminder of the response from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to these proposals:

Evidence shows that using x-rays to determine age can be widely inaccurate and the practice is ultimately unethical. It is appalling to see that the Government is persisting with these plans, which hinge life-changing decisions for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society on unspecific scientific outcomes and includes exposing them to radiation.

We have covered these regulations extensively, from when the drafts were first published, to when the relevant section of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 was brought into force, when the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee raised concerns and when the regulations were voted on by Parliament.

Read more: Freemovememt, https://shorturl.at/xQS57

The Government has responded to the petition – “Don’t increase the income requirement for family visas to £38,700”.

Government responded:

The Government intends to raise the MIR in line with the general salary threshold for skilled workers, but will do so in stages to provide predictability for families, starting in spring 2024.

The minimum income requirement (MIR) was introduced in July 2012 to ensure family migrants could be supported at a reasonable level, so they do not unreasonably become a burden on the British taxpayer, and to help ensure they can participate sufficiently in everyday life to facilitate their integration into British society. The MIR has not been increased in line with inflation or real wages since its introduction, or been adjusted in light of the rising numbers of migrants using the route.

The Home Secretary, in his announcement to Parliament on 4 December 2023, made clear that the intention is to bring the MIR in line with the new minimum general salary threshold for skilled workers, £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 to settlement.

In spring 2024, we will raise the minimum income threshold for family visas to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs which are eligible for skilled worker visas. We will incrementally increase the threshold, moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500), and finally to the 50th percentile (currently £38,700, and the level at which the general skilled worker threshold is set) by early 2025.

There will no longer be a separate child element to the MIR, to ensure British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants who are required to meet the general skilled worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any child being sponsored. Other aspects of the MIR will remain unchanged, such as the various ways in which it can be met and the consideration of exceptional circumstances where it may not be met.

This change will not be applied retrospectively to people already on the five-year partner route. 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.

Anyone granted a fiancé(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. Those already in the UK on a different route, who apply to switch into the five-year partner route after the minimum income requirement has been increased, will be subject to the new income requirement.
The Government will publish an Equality Impact Assessment on this change in due course.

A fact sheet and an impact assessment can be found on the GOV.UK website using the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fact-sheet-on-net-migration-measures-further-detail and


We keep all of our policies under review with regards to the impact on net migration, families and equalities.

Home Office

Click this link to view the response online: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/652602?reveal_response=yes

22 December 2023: House of Commons Library: Changes to legal migration rules for family and work visas in 2024

Research Briefing: Changes to legal migration rules for family and work visas in 2024: On 4 December 2023 the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, announced future changes to visa rules in what he described as a “five-point plan” to reduce immigration. The Home Office published more information on 21 December, including some changes to what had initially been announced.

What are the five changes?

  1. Social care workers will not be allowed to bring dependants (that is, partners and children) on their visa.
  2. The baseline minimum salary to be sponsored for a Skilled Worker visa will rise from £26,200 to £38,700 (but not for the Health and Care Worker visa, which includes social care, or for education workers on national pay scales).
  3. Changes to the shortage occupation list to significantly reduce the number of jobs where it will be possible to sponsor overseas workers below the baseline minimum salary (which is the main purpose of the list).
  4. The minimum income normally required to sponsor someone for a spouse/partner visa will rise in stages from £18,600 to £29,000 and ultimately around £38,700.
  5. The Migration Advisory Committee will review the Graduate visa, a two-year unsponsored work permit for overseas graduates of British universities.

When will the changes happen?

Read more here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9920/