Date updated: Wednesday 27th March 2024

The Home Office has emailed all sponsor licence holders to highlight the changes to the Immigration Rules that will impact the sponsorship of Skilled Workers. These technical changes bring forward the practical cut-off date for applications under the current rules to 3 April 2024 and the Home Office email was sent out on 25 March 2024.

The key updates are as follows:

  • The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system will be updated from 4 April – this will mean changes to some occupation code numbers and job descriptions. It is therefore crucial to be familiar with the new occupation codes before assigning a CoS to a sponsored Skilled Worker after this date. 

  • Increase to the salary thresholds for Skilled Workers from 4 April – further information on the new thresholds can be found here. There are exemptions to the higher threshold for roles in the education sector.

  • The sponsor licence application system and the sponsorship management system (SMS) will be unavailable from 7pm on 3 April until 9am on 5 April to enable the Home Office to implement the above changes. This will mean that sponsors will not be able to complete any of the following actions during this period:

  • Apply to renew or add additional routes to your sponsor licence.  

  • Apply for any Defined CoS (for individuals applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside of the UK). The Home Office will process as many DCoS applications submitted before 7pm on 3 April as possible, but any requests still outstanding after this time will be cancelled. Any DCoS requests that are granted in time must however still be assigned before 7pm on 3 April. Otherwise, the DCoS will be cancelled and a new request must be submitted after 9am on 5 April based on the new SOC code system and salary threshold. 

  • Apply for additional Undefined CoS (for individuals applying for a Skilled Worker visa from inside of the UK). Undefined CoS requests that are outstanding after 7pm on 3 April 2024 will still be considered as normal but the new salary threshold and SOC code system must be satisfied when it comes to assigning this to a Skilled Worker after 4 April. 

  • Assign any CoS to workers that you wish to sponsor (this will apply to workers applying under all work routes, including the T5 Religious Worker and T2 Minister of Religion routes). If there is any urgency to assigning a CoS to an individual e.g. if their visa will be expiring between 3-5 April 2024, it is important to action this as soon as possible as the SMS will not be available during this time. Any CoS assigned to workers before 7pm on 3 April will remain valid. Visa applications submitted using these CoS will be considered with reference to the salary thresholds and SOC 2010 occupation codes under the Immigration Rules in place before 4 April 2024, even if the worker applies on or after that date.

Please do get in contact with our Head of Immigration, Julie Moktadir ( if you have any queries or require any support with the above changes.