Review of the Immigration Salary List

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its rapid review of the Immigration Salary List.

23 February 2024

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its rapid review of the Immigration Salary List (ISL) today (23 February 2024) after being commissioned by the Home Secretary to undertake an initial, rapid review of the ISL, which will replace the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

This article was updated on 29 February 2024

The MAC was asked to consider which occupations, currently on the SOL and those which they recommended for inclusion in their 2023 SOL review, should be included on a temporary basis on the new ISL, pending a wider review to be commissioned later in the year. 

Below is a summary of changes in immigration rules related to the ISL for Health and Care Worker Visas from April 2024:

  • general threshold of £29,000 for H&CW occupations not on a national pay scale
  • general threshold of £23,200, rising from £20,960 for occupations on a national pay scale 
  • occupation-specific thresholds set at the 25th percentile or the national pay scale where applicable
  • for occupations on the ISL, a threshold of either £23,200 or their occupation-specific threshold, whichever is higher.

The MAC has recommended 21 occupations be placed on the ISL, including the following Health and Care Worker Visa occupations: 

  • laboratory technicians
  • pharmaceutical technicians
  • care workers and home carers
  • senior care workers

The main benefit of inclusion on the ISL is to allow employers to recruit migrants on a salary below the general threshold – with the discount being a maximum of 20 per cent.

The MAC has considered non-pay scale occupations only, this is because national pay scale occupations do not receive any meaningful benefit from ISL inclusion, as their occupation-specific thresholds are in all cases above the £23,200 general threshold that applies to all pay scale occupations. This means that occupations that may have been included on the SOL previously, will now be excluded from the ISL, for example registered nurses.

The MAC’s findings will now be reviewed by the government but are largely expected to form the basis of the new ISL, which should come into force in April 2024 as part of the wider changes to the immigration system.

This rapid review is set to be followed by a more comprehensive analysis of the ISL later in the year. We will keep employers informed. 

For further information and to read the full report please visit the GOV.UK website.