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How To Settle In The UK After The Updated Immigration Policies?

Are you feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness about moving to the UK with the recent immigration updates? Don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this blog post, we will discuss the updated policies, potential challenges, and tips for settling down in the country smoothly. That said, let’s get started!

The Updated Immigration Policies

Let’s do the first and foremost thing, i.e., check out the updated immigration policies for 2024.

Skilled Worker Visa & Wage Increase

Starting April 4th, 2024, if you want a visa to work in the UK as a skilled worker, you’ll need to be paid more than before. The minimum salary will be either £38,700 per year or the average salary for your specific job, whichever is higher. This is based on a new way of calculating average salaries, so for some jobs, the minimum might be even higher than £38,700.

Additionally, there are some exceptions for people who already have a Skilled Worker visa, but in most cases, they’ll also need a bit of a raise to extend their visa or change jobs.

Entrant Discount

This is good news for recent graduates and career starters! Even though the minimum salary for a Skilled Worker visa is going up, there’s still a discount for new entrants. Hence, as a fresh graduate, you can qualify for the visa with a salary of at least £30,960 per year or 70% of the average salary for your job (whichever is higher). This discount applies for up to four years, but after that, you’ll need to meet the entire salary requirement.

Change In Occupation Codes

There’s also a change to the codes used to classify jobs for visa purposes. These codes define what kind of skilled worker you are. The system is updated, and some job codes might have changed or been merged with others. This means when applying for a visa (extending an old one or getting a new one), you’ll need to double-check which code applies to your specific job now.

Senior/Specialist Worker Visa

The government’s other visa option, Senior or Specialist Worker, also expects a raise. The minimum salary for this visa ranges from £45,800 to £48,500 per year. Unlike the Skilled Worker visa, this route allows you to include certain benefits like a housing allowance in your salary to meet the minimum. This might be a good alternative if the main Skilled Worker visa doesn’t work for you, or you’re not proficient in English or want to stay in the UK temporarily.

Tough Hand At Accepting Immigration Applications

The UK government is setting multiple restrictions on getting a work visa. They’re checking applications more strictly and taking longer to make decisions. This applies to both new applications and those from people who already have a visa but want to extend it or switch jobs. If you’re planning to apply for a work visa in the UK, be prepared for more scrutiny and possible delays.

Your Future In The Country As A Worker Or Student

Now, after the new changes, how can you plan your life in the UK as a worker or student? Check out some of the tips listed below;

Work Visa Strategies:

  • Target High-Paying Jobs: Research salaries in your field and prioritise roles that comfortably exceed the minimum (£38,700 or 70% of the average).
  • Negotiate Salary with Confidence: As you’re aware of the minimum requirement, try to emphasise your skills and experience to secure a competitive salary.
  • Building Connections: Connect with professionals in your industry at conferences, online forums, or through alumni networks. These contacts might offer leads on jobs with visa sponsorship, making the process easier.

Student Visa Option:

  • Explore Combined Programs: Research universities offering combined study and work programs. This allows you to gain valuable UK experience while getting your degree.
  • Part-Time Work for Experience: Use the part-time work allowance on a student visa to test the job market, build your resume, and earn some income.
  • Transition to Work Visa: After graduation, consider leveraging your UK experience and qualifications to secure a Skilled Worker visa.

Ruling On Bringing Dependants & Family

The rules for bringing your family on a UK health and care visa have changed. Most health workers, like doctors and nurses, can still bring their spouse or partner and children under 18. For UK-born babies, you will have to provide proof of your relationship.

However, care workers and senior care workers applying for a new visa after March 11th, 2024, can no longer bring their dependents with them. If you already have a healthcare visa before the suggested date, this policy won’t be applied to you. Lastly, the minimum income requirement has been set to £38,700 for Skilled Worker Visa holders wanting to bring their families.

The Final Date For The Changes To Affect

From March 11th, 2024, care workers and senior care workers will no longer be able to bring their families on a visa with them. The minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visas will also increase, though the exact date in April is still being confirmed. Additionally, the fee for using the healthcare system will jump to £1,035 starting February 6th, 2024.

Additional Tips To Consider

Lastly, for easy settlement in the United Kingdom, you can follow some of these tips;

  • English Language Proficiency: Take some time and focus on improving your English language skills, as it is often a requirement for work and higher education. You can also take tests like IELTS or TOEFL to improve your fluency.
  • Reaching Out To A Law Solicitor: As understanding immigration laws and policies can be challenging for non-UK residents, try to find a law firm specialising in immigration laws to spend your life without much trouble.
  • Read & Understand Visa Policies: Make sure you’re selecting the right visa and have read all the policies to avoid any misunderstanding later.
  • Prepare For Visa Application Delays: Visa application processes are often lengthy, so start early, gather all the required documents, and be patient throughout the process.
  • Stay Updated on Policies: Immigration policies change constantly, so make sure you’re keeping up with the latest information.

Good Luck, Mate!

So, are you feeling a bit more prepared for your UK adventure? It’s definitely a time of change, but with some planning and these tips, you can understand the new policies and avoid mishaps. However, if you’re still having difficulty understanding any policies, let us know in the comments below!

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