UK Increases Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold to £38,700 to Cut Migration

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read
James Cleverly

The United Kingdom government has raised the general salary threshold for individuals arriving in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa from £26,200 to £38,700.

This move, according to Home Secretary James Cleverly, represents a 48 percent increase in the minimum wage aimed at reducing migration and prioritizing British workers.

The changes, which are now in effect, are designed to reduce migration and prevent the undercutting of British workers by employers seeking to recruit cheap labor from overseas. UK businesses hiring overseas workers on a Skilled Worker visa are now required to pay significantly higher salaries.


In a statement on its website, the UK government stated that this increase will help ensure the country’s immigration system focuses on recruiting high-skilled workers, thereby aiding in the growth of the UK economy while reducing overall migration numbers. Additionally, the shortage occupation list has been abolished, preventing employers from paying migrants less than UK workers in shortage occupations.

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A new Immigration Salary List (ISL) has been established following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). Roles on this list will only be included if they are skilled and in shortage, and if including them is sensible considering the efforts being made by sectors to invest in the resident workforce. Employers are encouraged to prioritize training, upskilling, and hiring domestic workers.

The government’s action comes as part of its Back to Work plan, a £2.5 billion initiative aimed at supporting over a million people who are long-term unemployed, sick, or disabled, and breaking down barriers to work.

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Home Secretary James Cleverly stated, “It’s time to turn off the taps and end the flow of cheap workers from abroad. Mass migration is unsustainable and unfair, undercutting the wages of hard-working people. We are refocusing our immigration system to prioritize the brightest and best while reducing overall numbers.”

The UK government has also taken previous steps to reduce migration, including ending the ability of nearly all postgraduate students to bring dependents to the UK, expecting a drastic fall in student dependent applications this year.

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