Important Changes in Immigration Laws for 2024: What Recruitment Agencies Need to Know

Over the past few years, immigration laws have been constantly changing, causing confusion for many. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines, especially for recruitment agencies. In 2022, recruitment was a prime target for immigration fraudsters, with the medical and construction sectors being particularly affected.

To help you navigate these changes, here are the key updates to keep in mind:

  • Starting April 2024, the minimum salary required for sponsored visas will rise by nearly 50%, from £26,200 to £38,700 annually.
  • For those who have a spouse/partner from outside of the EU and EEA, the minimum income needed to sponsor their visa will gradually increase from £18,600, as it is now, to £29,000 in April 2024 and finally to £38,700 by early 2025.
  • The Shortage Occupation list will now be replaced by the Immigration Salary List (which has not yet been disclosed), possibly impacting minimum salary discounts and job availability.
  • It is important to note that the increase in minimum salary will not apply to Health and Care workers (including Social Care), and education workers on national pay scales. However, Care workers will no longer be able to bring their dependents with them on their visa.
  • Existing Skilled Worker route applicants won’t be affected by the new salary threshold until they renew or change sponsors.
  • Individuals aged below 26 and those with a relevant PHD may be eligible for lower pay rates in some cases.
  • As of February 13th, 2024, fines for employing illegal workers have tripled, from £20,000 to £60,000 per worker.

The above rules do not apply to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

These changes aim to reduce immigration numbers but may lead to an increase in fake right to work documents being presented to recruitment agencies.

It’s crucial for recruitment agencies to stay informed and prepared for these changes. For more detailed information, refer to the  government guidelines.