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On the 9th March, the UK Home Office published the 2023 Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules for the UK. Most of these will come into effect from 12th April 2023. 

Continue below to read about the key changes. The full Statement of Changes can be accessed, here. 

Skilled Worker

The following changes will apply for the Skilled Worker route: 

  • Minimum annual salary threshold for sponsored workers is increasing from £25,600 to £26,200 or the usual ‘going rate’ 
  • PhD level non-STEM qualification can be paid 90% of the job’s usual going rate is increasing from £23,040 to £23,580  
  • Where you can be paid less 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for the job is increasing from £20,480 to £20,960 
  • Hourly rate is increasing from £10.10 to £10.75 

Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker (formerly known as Intra-Company Transfer – ICT)

The annual salaries under this route are changing as follows:  

  • Minimum annual salary threshold for sponsored Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker route is increasing from £42,400 to £45,800 or the usual ‘going rate’ 
  • Graduate Trainee the annual salary threshold will increase from £23,100 to £24,220  

Going rate

The above salary thresholds are subject to the ‘going rate’ specified in the SOC Codes. The following changes will apply:  

  • Annual salary calculations will now be based on 37.5 hours rather than 39 hours per week.  

Irregular Working Hours

  • Those who work irregular hours will need to calculate their average hours for a period of up to 17 weeks (no more than 48 hours per week) and take into account unpaid rest weeks.  

ILR – Long Term Residence rules

Changes to the way applicants can apply for Indefinite Leaver to Remain (ILR) if you have been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’) as follows: 

  • Any period on immigration bail will not count towards the qualifying period or long residence in any circumstances. 
  • In additional time as a Visitor, Short-Term Student and seasonal worker routes will not count. 

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) Scheme

ETA Scheme is the UK governments priority in keeping the UK safe. In order to do this and strengthen the border security the government have launched an ETA scheme which applies to the following nationals:  

  • Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates visiting the UK or transiting who do not currently need a visa for short stays. 
  • Application process will open on 25 October 2023 for Qatari nationals who intend to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023 
  • Application process will open on 1 February 2024 only for nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, UAE or Saudi Arabia who intend to travel on or after 22 February 2024 

Youth Mobility Scheme

Changes are being made to the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS). This route allows young from participating countries to work and live in the UK. The UK’s exiting arrangement with New Zealand has been enhanced as follows: 

  • Age range has been increased from 18 – 30 to 18 – 35 
  • Length of Stay has been increased from 2 years to 3 years 

Innovator route

The Innovator route will be renamed to Innovator Founder and the following changes will apply 

  • Minimum investment funds requirement of £50,000 will be removed to make it easier and more accessible for those with a genuine proposal to establish an innovative business in the UK. 
  • Innovator Founders will now be able to take employment outside the running of their own business provided employment is skilled to at least RQF Level 3 (A Level of above). 


Get in touch to find out how K2’s Immigration Team can support.  

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