Banking and financial services giants Deloitte, KPMG and HSBC have reportedly withdrawn job offers to international students, blaming changes to skilled worker salary thresholds. This follows the government’s decision to increase the minimum salary thresholds for skilled worker visas. They are not the first and will not be the last, says international immigration law firm Fragomen, which advises businesses on global mobility.

Natasha Catterson, a partner at Fragomen, the global immigration law firm, said: “This increase to the skilled worker salary threshold is quite staggering. It raises concerns that the government’s attempts to lower net migration figures are taking precedence over economic need.

“In many instances and particularly outside of London, the £38,700 threshold exceeds the average annual wage and is simply unaffordable for many businesses. The UK immigration system is already one of the most expensive in the world. This increase effectively closes overseas recruitment to UK industry for some businesses.

“The UK’s financial services sector looks to recruit the best talent from around the world, competing with other global financial centres. It is clear that this policy is making the UK a more expensive and less attractive place for global talent and that can only benefit other financial centres in Europe.

“Global businesses with international talent pools are actively considering what functions make economic sense to have in the UK. We should not be surprised if we see more businesses across many sectors follow.”


On 4 April 2024 businesses wishing to hire overseas talent through the skilled worker visa will need to pay staff at least a minimum of £38,700. This represents an increase of almost 50% from the current salary threshold of £26,200. It far exceeds the average salary for large parts of the country.

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At the same time, the going rate of pay for specific occupations will increase to the median pay. For example, an IT business analyst coming to the UK will now need to be paid nearly £52,000 to secure sponsorship under the skilled worker visa route. This represents rise of 38% on current rates.