The £35,800 minimum salary requirement for migrant workers to apply for settlement in the UK has been reduced.
The figure has been cut to £25,600 or the average salary for the individual's profession if it is higher.
If migrant workers plan to work in an industry suffering a shortage of workers, salaries can reduce further to £20,480, however the Migration Advisory Committee has recently advised chefs are removed from this list.
The change will be introduced under the government's new points-based immigration system, which comes into force from 1 December.
The changes will also remove the need for people to gain settlement to remain for more than six years continuously. Previously workers from outside the EU had to be granted the status to work in the UK beyond this period or leave for a 12-month ‘cooling off' period.
People will still need to gain settled status then apply for citizenship.
The reduction was highlighted by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University. Researcher Dr Peter William Walsh said: "This is a notable liberalisation on the current system – it means people can settle on salaries as low as £20,480 – and fits with the broader changes to the immigration system that are being introduced, now that policy has moved beyond trying to get net migration to under 100,000 per year."