Key Changes in 2024

Key Changes in 2024 for UK Immigration law.

Key Changes in 2024

As we continue through 2024, the UK’s immigration system is witnessing changes, reflecting the government’s focus on reducing net migration. These adjustments impact various stakeholders, including individuals, businesses, and families. This blog post offers an overview of these changes to the UK Immigration Rules, providing essential information on what to expect.

Student Visa Rules for Dependents – 1 January 2024

The year kicked off with a major shift in the UK Student Visa regulations. From 1 January 2024, most international students can no longer bring dependents unless enrolled in specific doctoral or research-based higher degree courses or if they are government-sponsored students. This marks a significant departure from previous policies, potentially affecting the choices of international students considering the UK for their studies.

Expanded Visitor Activities and New Appendixes – 31 January 2024

January ended with the expansion of permitted activities for visitors, including the allowance for remote work under certain conditions and the integration of the Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor route into the Standard Visitor route. Additionally, new Appendixes for Bereaved Partner, Victim of Domestic Abuse, and Statelessness were introduced, offering clearer pathways for those in vulnerable situations.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) – 1 February 2024

The ETA system expanded to include nationals from Gulf states and Jordan, requiring them to obtain authorisation before visiting or transiting through the UK. This system aims to streamline entry processes while maintaining security protocols.

Immigration Health Surcharge Increase – 6 February 2024

A significant 66% increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge was implemented, impacting most visa applications. This rise underscores the value placed on accessing the NHS and reflects broader trends of increasing healthcare costs.

Fines for Illegal Working – 13 February 2024

The government has significantly increased fines for employers who illegally employ workers, signalling a stern approach towards unauthorised employment and emphasising the importance of compliance.

Health and Care Worker Visa Changes – 11 March 2024

Specific restrictions were placed on dependents accompanying care workers and senior care workers, alongside new requirements for care homes to be regulated by the CQC. This change reflects a targeted approach to immigration in the healthcare sector.

Introduction of the Immigration Salary List – 14 March 2024

Replacing the Shortage Occupation List, the new Immigration Salary List alters the landscape for employers and potential migrants, emphasizing salary thresholds over occupational shortages.

Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold Increase – 4 April 2024

A substantial increase in the minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas will come into effect, potentially affecting the ability of businesses to recruit internationally.

Abolishment of Sponsor Licence Renewals – 6 April 2024

The removal of the renewal requirement for Sponsor Licences simplifies the process for employers, reducing administrative burdens and costs.

Increase in Minimum Income Requirement for Family Visas – 11 April 2024

The minimum income requirement for partners applying under Appendix FM will see a significant increase, affecting families and individuals planning to settle in the UK.

Implications and Advice

These changes are part of a broader strategy to manage the UK’s immigration system more effectively, addressing concerns around net migration while still welcoming talent and supporting vulnerable individuals. Individuals and businesses must stay informed and prepare for these changes, understanding their implications for future plans and operations.

For those affected by these rules or seeking to navigate the UK’s immigration system, professional advice can be invaluable. Whether adjusting to the new rules for student visas, understanding the implications of the increased health surcharge, or ensuring compliance with the new salary thresholds for skilled workers, expert guidance can help mitigate challenges and maximise opportunities under the new regulations.

Stay ahead by consulting with our immigration experts who can provide personalised advice and assistance tailored to your specific circumstances. Whether planning to study, work, visit, or settle in the UK, being proactive and well-informed is key to successfully navigating these changes. Do not wait too long, take advantage of the fact that Axis Solicitors offers a free initial consultation you for new clients to evaluate their unique situtation. 

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