Further to Government’s statement of changes to the Immigration Rules of 14 March 2024 which is due to come into effect after the 4 April 2024 we have listed the main changes that may affect our clients:

Skilled Workers sponsored after 4 April 2024

The Skilled Worker minimum salary thresholds are increasing:

Those changes will also be reflected in the individual SOC codes. The appropriate rates detailed in the SOC codes will be increasing and will be set out in the new Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations from 4 April 2024

The 20% discount to the going rate for shortage occupations (Option D) will be removed, although the 10% discount for relevant PhDs (Option B), the 20% discount for STEM PhDs (Option C) and the 30% discount for new entrants (Option E) will be retained.  

The current Shortage Occupation List under Option D will be replaced with an Immigration Salary List, which contains fewer eligible SOC codes.

Please note that if an individual is applying to work in a role that is subject to a national pay scale, the minimum salary threshold will be £23,200 (Option K) but they must also be paid at least the appropriate rate set by the national pay scale for that role or salary band.  

If a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned before 4 April 2024

Where the applicant has been assigned a valid CoS before 4 April 2024 the application will be decided in line with the rules in force before 4 April 2024.

Current Skilled Workers applying to extend or change employers

Someone who has held continuous permission as a Skilled Worker that was originally granted before 4 April 2024 and where the role is not subject to the national pay scale, there will be smaller increases in the thresholds and going rates but these will still be based on the 25th percentile.

Some SOC codes which are eligible for sponsorship under the current rules will no longer be eligible after 4 April 2024 because they are now deemed to be skilled below RQF Level 3 – these are listed in the new Table 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations and include examples such as nannies, concierges, fashion stylists and car salesmen. 

The New Immigration Salary List

In December 2023, the Home Secretary announced that the government would be removing the 20% discount to the going rate for roles on the Shortage Occupation List and would replace the Shortage Occupation List with a new Immigration Salary List.

The list will be ‘shorter’ and almost half of jobs currently on the list will be removed.

If a Skilled Worker is currently sponsored in a role which was included on the Shortage Occupation List but is no longer on the list when they make their next application, they will still be able score points for the lower threshold and for the 20% discount to the going rate, but only if they will be extending their visa to continue working in the same role for the same sponsor. 

Global Business Mobility routes

For the Global Business Mobility routes; most thresholds are being raised from 45,800 GBP to 48,500 GBP while the Graduate Trainee route threshold is being raised from 24,220 GBP to 25,410 GBP.

Going rates for the Global Business Mobility routes will continue to be based on the 25th percentile of roles within the relevant SOC code. This can be found in the new Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, with Graduate Trainee continuing to benefit from the 30% discount to the going rate.

Changes to the scale-up route

The government has also increased the threshold salary for the scale-up route, raising this from 34,600 GBP to 36,300 GBP

The latest statement of changes to the Immigration rules has been published. Bonheur Legal has compiled a list of the most significant changes that we believe will be most pertinent to our clients and future clients.

We will therefore be focusing mainly on:

The Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme

The introduction of the Innovator Founder route on 13 April 2023

The increase of the minimum salary under the skilled worker

The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme

The UK Immigration Minister reiterated that one of Government’s ongoing priority is to secure the UK borders and keeping people safe. The UK’s ambition is that everyone wishing to travel to the UK has the appropriate permission and the Government believe that the ETA scheme will be contributing to the Government to achieve their aim.

Set out in Appendix Electronic Travel Authorisation; the ETA scheme will apply to foreign individuals, visiting or transiting through the UK who currently do not need a visa for short stays. It will also apply to those using the Creative Worker route for a short stay in the UK.

As of 15 November 2023, the scheme will apply to nationals of Qatar. 

The scheme will be extended to nationals of the following countries as of 15 February 2024:


Residents of Ireland that do not need a visa will be exempt from applying for the ETA to enter the UK. 

UK ETA app

The ETA application will be made via the UK ETA app and should take 3 working days to be processed.

The ETA will be issued electronically.

The Innovator Founder Route

The Innovator Founder route is a replacement of the less popular Innovator and Start-up routes. The criteria under the current Innovator Route will be more flexible under the Innovator Founder Route.

There is no longer the 50 000 GBP minimum funds requirement, and it is possible under certain conditions for the holders of the Innovator Founder visa to engage in employment outside the running of their business.

Extension applications will be possible under the Innovator Founder – Same Business criteria, where the applicant last had permission as an Innovator Founder or was on the Start-Up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) routes. 


Settlement will be possible after spending three years continuously resident in the UK under the Innovator Founder route.

Skilled Worker – Salary change

The minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker visa is now 26,200 GBP.

Furthermore, the new salary for the Global Business Mobility Senior and Specialist workers will now be 45,800 GBP and 24,220 GBP respectively.

The new proposed salary for the Scale-up workers will be 34,600 GBP.

Please contact us should you have any further questions.

The Chagos Islands… The Chagos archipelago is a place close to our heart as the founder of Bonheur Legal originates from the Islands. It is a place that has seen its’ inhabitants expelled from their own land by the UK and made homeless between 1967 and 1973 in order for the US to set-up a military base.

In 2002, the UK agreed to grant British citizenship to British Overseas Territories citizens which meant that the Chagossians and their children could gain British citizenship. This however did not extend to grandchildren and great-grand-children.

After years of campaigning, the Government has agreed to amend the Nationality and Border Act, such that the British nationality has now been extended to People of Chagossian descent. The chagossian descent have a five-year period to register as British citizens.

Applying for the British Citizenship

The application process is now opened and since the 23 November 2022, the applicants can apply for British overseas territory citizenship or British citizenship at the same time and if successful, will obtain both statuses.

Applications can be made online at https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/nationality-biot

Note that if you live overseas, you will be required to attend a biometric appointment at a visa centre as part of the application process.

Documents required

As part of the requirements, the applicants will have to provide evidence that they are a descent of a Chagossian born in the Chagos Islands. This can include marriage certificates, court records etc. It is our understanding that the Home Office will approach each case on its own merits and where evidence might be lacking, they will attempt to check their records to locate this. 


The application is free of charge.

How can we assist

We can help you with the whole application and some of our staff can speak and write in creole.

Scale-up Worker visa

Since 22 August 2022, fast-growing UK businesses can attract talents under the Scale-up visa route.


A fast-growing or scale-up business is a high-growth company that has:

This definition seems in line with that of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD defines high-growth enterprises as ‘All enterprises with average annualised growth greater than 20% per annum, over a three-year period should be considered as high-growth enterprises. Growth can be measured by the number of employees or by turnover.’

A Scale-up Worker visa will allow a visa national to come and perform an eligible job for a fast-growing company.


To qualify for a Scale-up Worker visa the applicant must:

Duration of Stay

The migrant can potentially stay for a:

  1. Sponsored stage of 2 years
  2. Unsponsored stage of 3 years

It is interesting to note that although the initial visa lasts for two years, the applicant must work for the specified sponsor for only the first six months. 

This is a welcomed option to the sponsor as after 6 months, the administrative duties imposed on the sponsor is lessened and there is no Immigration Skills Charge which represents a considerable saving to the employer.

For the employee, he or she enjoys some flexibility as to where he or she can work.

Becoming a Scale-up Sponsor

You will have to go through the normal process of applying for a Sponsorship Licence and the Sponsors who hold a general sponsor licence will need to add the scale-up option to their licence. When applying the Home Office will check the HMRC data directly and it is therefore important that the companies HMRC’s records are up to date.

Unlike the general licence, the scale-up licence cannot be renewed beyond the four years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

After 5 years of continuous stay under the Scale-up Worker visa you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK and apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Aimed at individuals who have graduated from a top global university; the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa will grant you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years or 3 years if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification.

You must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years. The Home Office has published a list of the eligible universities.

Under the HPI visa, you are not linked to a specific sponsor, and it was designed to attract the ‘the brightest and the best’. You can be employed or self-employed, and this route also allows you to be accompanied by your dependants.

This is also a great option to UK businesses looking to offer work opportunities without going through the challenges of sponsoring a migrant.

Acceptable qualifications

You must have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification which Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC ) confirms meets, or exceeds, the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree. 

The degree:

We have been helping talents and companies alike with their immigration requirement successfully since 2009.  Contact us.

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T:  +44 (0)20 7993 6923
E: contact@bonheurlegal.com
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