On 4 December 2023, the Home Secretary announced several changes to the immigration system related to the Skilled Worker (SW) route. Subsequently on 17 January 2024 the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a rapid review of the new Immigration Salary List (ISL) and to report by 23 February 2024. Our summary article below highlights these key changes from the MAC report, which are crucial for professionals and businesses navigating the UK immigration system, particularly those involved with Skilled Worker visas.  

Revised salary thresholds for skilled workers 

The 2024 Immigration Salary List brings critical updates to salary requirements for Skilled Worker visa applicants, ensuring that the UK remains a competitive destination for global talent. The general threshold for skilled workers, excluding Health and Care Workers (H&CW), has been adjusted to reflect the median salary levels, setting it at £38,700. This move aims to align immigration policy more closely with the current labour market conditions and economic value of skilled roles. 

  • General Threshold for Skilled Workers (excluding Health and Care Workers) has been increased from £26,200 to £38,700. This adjustment moves the threshold from the 25th percentile to the 50th (median) percentile of eligible occupations, based on the latest wage data. 
  • Health and Care Workers (H&CW) will see a differentiated threshold, with a general threshold set at £29,000, up from the previous £26,200, maintaining it at the 25th percentile but updated to the latest wage data. 
  • Occupation-specific thresholds have been raised for non-H&CW occupations from the 25th percentile to the 50th percentile, with a minimum threshold of either £30,960 or the occupation-specific threshold, whichever is higher. For H&CW visa categories, the minimum threshold is set at either £23,200 or the occupation-specific threshold, whichever is higher. 

Inclusion of new occupations 

In response to labour market demands, the 2024 ISL includes new occupations deemed essential for addressing the UK’s skill shortages. These additions, ranging from laboratory technicians to bricklayers and senior care workers, highlight the government’s commitment to a dynamic and responsive immigration policy. By specifying occupation-specific salary thresholds, the ISL ensures that the UK can attract the necessary talent in key sectors. 

For Skilled Workers (non-H&CW occupations): 

  • Laboratory technicians (SOC 2020 code 3111) with a proposed ISL salary threshold of £30,960 across the UK. 
  • Boat and ship builders and repairers (SOC 2020 code 5235) with a proposed salary threshold of £34,100 for Scotland only. 
  • Bricklayers and masons (SOC 2020 code 5312) with a threshold of £32,400 for UK-wide inclusion. 
  • Senior care workers (SOC 2020 code 6136) with a proposed threshold of £30,960, applicable UK-wide. 

For Health and Care Workers: 

  • Laboratory technicians (SOC 2020 code 3111) eligible for H&CW visas with a lower threshold of £23,200, applicable UK-wide. 
  • Pharmaceutical technicians (SOC 2020 code 3212) with a proposed threshold of £23,400, reflecting the specialized nature of these roles within the healthcare sector. 

These proposed inclusions aim to bolster sectors crucial for the UK’s social and economic infrastructure, from healthcare to construction and technical services. The selection of these occupations shows a commitment to a responsive and evidence-based approach to labour market needs. 

Strategic approach to skilled immigration 

The inclusion of specific occupations and the adjustment of salary thresholds in the 2024 ISL underscore the UK’s strategic approach to skilled immigration. This policy update not only addresses immediate labour shortages but also supports the long-term economic and social goals of the UK.  


The 2024 updates to the UK Immigration Salary List mark a significant step forward in aligning the country’s immigration policy with its labor market needs. By updating salary thresholds and expanding the occupation list, the UK government aims to ensure that its immigration system is both competitive and responsive to global talent trends. For professionals seeking opportunities in the UK, these changes underscore the importance of staying informed about the evolving immigration landscape. 

This article provides an overview of the most significant changes and their potential implications. Clients seeking to navigate these changes are advised to consult with immigration professionals for tailored advice and support.