On 4 December 2023 the UK’s Home Secretary, James Cleverly, announced upcoming changes to visa rules. These are expected to come into effect in Spring 2024.
We’ve previously reported on visa requirements for the veterinary profession.
While details have not yet been announced, Mr Cleverly unveiled a five-point plan, encapsulating the essence of these changes.
At present, veterinarians are featured on the Shortage Occupation List within all parts of the UK: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It has not yet been confirmed whether the profession will remain on the list.
The initial information indicates that the new policies will not be applied retrospectively.
However, on 11 December, a response to a parliamentary question stated that there will be “transitional arrangements” for people who are working via a Skilled Worker visa.
In some circumstances, individuals can be paid less than the minimum salary and still have access to Skilled Worker visa sponsorship. These circumstances include “new entrants” to the labour market, such as people aged under 26 and post-doctoral researchers.
The government has said it is currently working to establish policy specifics, which includes decisions about renewals. Until these details are confirmed and the immigration rules amended, the minimum income threshold will remain the same.
In order for the changes to be implemented they need to be presented to parliament as a statement of changes, prior to publishing. Usually, there are at least 21 says between the statement being laid and its contents taking effect. This is normally longer, in practise.