Home Secretary announces timeline for key changes to UK Immigration Rules and process

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Posted on 02 Feb 2024

Home Secretary announces timeline for key changes to UK Immigration Rules and process

On 30 January 2024, the Home Secretary finally announced the dates on which the planned Spring 2024 changes to the UK Immigration Rules will come into effect.

This comes after the Home Office’s surprise announcement on 25 January announcing automatic sponsor licence renewals from 6 April 2024 and the forthcoming changes to the civil penalties for illegal working from 13 February 2024, as well as the increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge from 6 February 2024.

Key dates for your diary are:

  • 6 February 2024: The anticipated increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge will come into effect on 6 February 2024. In advance of this date, sponsors and applicants should be aware that there are several delays to the ability to submit an application due to delays in receiving Defined Certificate of Sponsorship requests and planned maintenance on the UKVI application web pages. Applicants and sponsors are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible to account for these delays.
  • 13 February 2024: Civil penalties will increase from £20,000 - £45,000 for first breach or £60,000 for repeat breaches.
  • 11 March 2024: Reforms restricting care workers from bringing dependants and requiring care providers to register with the Care Quality Commission if they are sponsoring migrant workers come into effect.
  • 14 March 2024: Removal of the 20% ‘going rate’ discount for occupations on the Shortage Occupation List
  • 4 April 2024: Increase to the minimum salary required for Skilled Worker visa holders will come into effect.
  • 6 April 2024: Sponsor licences which will expire after 6 April 2024 will automatically be extended without charge for 10 years.
  • 11 April 2024: Increase to the minimum income requirement for family visas will start. This will be implemented in phases, and the first phase will increase this to £29,000 per annum from 11 April 2024.
  • April 2024: Look out for communication on phasing out Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) cards: On 25 January 2024, the Home Office answered a Parliamentary question regarding how it intends to handle the phasing out of physical Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) by the end of June 2024. In his response, Mr Tom Pursglove stated that the Home Office is delivering the ability for existing leave holders and new applicants to create a digital UKVI account from April 2024. From this date, they will begin to contact customers directly via email where possible, and will utilise a range of additional communication channels to inform customers of the need to take action to create an account before their BRP cards expire. All BRP card holders should therefore look out for this correspondence from April 2024 and take the action recommended in the Home Office communication.

Reminder of new changes implemented on 31 January 2024

In addition to the forthcoming changes, some welcome changes to the UK immigration regime for visitors and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants were implemented on 31 January 2024 as we highlighted in our previous post.

Please contact us

If you have any questions or require detailed information please contact a member of our Immigration team, or submit an enquiry form below.

Anita de Atouguia

Anita has specialised in immigration law for over 20 years and is one of the UK's leading immigration experts. She joined Doyle Clayton in 2012 to set up its Immigration service having worked in the immigration practices of some of the UK’s best known full service law firms including CMS and Lewis Silkin.

  • Partner & Head of Immigration
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The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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