Key points of UK Government’s plans for points-based immigration system

0

The British Government has set out its plans for a points-based immigration system to come into force on January 1 2021.

A policy statement published today said free movement would end, laws surrounding this would be repealed and a new Immigration Bill would be introduced for a “firm and fair” system which would “attract the high-skilled workers” to create a “high wage, high skill, high productivity economy”.

It vowed to prioritise someone on their skills not where they came from, adding: “For too long, distorted by European free movement rights, the immigration system has been failing to meet the needs of the British people.

“Our approach will change all of this.”

70   The number of points all applicants who want to live and work in the UK will need to gain to be eligible to apply for a visa

The paper set out the first phase of changes.

– Skilled workers:

All applicants – both EU and non-EU citizens – who want to live and work in the UK will need to gain 70 points to be eligible to apply for a visa.

Points will be awarded for key requirements if they can demonstrate they:

– Have a job offer from an approved sponsor, such as an employer cleared by the Home Office (which earns 20 points).
– Have a job offer that is at a “required skill level” (20 points).
– They can speak English to a certain level (10 points).

Other points could be awarded for certain qualifications and if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

The salary threshold for skilled migrants will be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600 for those coming to the UK with a job offer.

But migrants “will still need to be paid the higher of the specific salary threshold for their occupation, known as the ‘going rate’, and the general salary threshold”, the paper said.

If an applicant earns less than the required minimum salary threshold – but no less than £20,480 – they may still be able to come to the UK if they have a job offer in a specific occupation which appears on the Government’s jobs shortage list, or if they have a PhD relevant to the job.

This could mean lower earners such as nurses may still be able to apply for a visa, provided a shortage of staff in this area remain on the approved list.

The cap on the number of people who can come through the skilled worker route has been scrapped.

Lower earners such as nurses may still be able to apply for a visa, provided a shortage of staff in this area remain on the approved list

There are no plans to introduce regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.

– Highly-skilled workers:

This would allow a some of the most highly-skilled workers, who can gain the required level of points, to enter the UK without a job offer if they are endorsed by a “relevant and competent body”.

This will include science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals.

There will also be an “unsponsored” visa option where points will also be awarded for factors such as academic qualifications, age and relevant work experience for a small number of highly-skilled workers without a job offer. The route would be capped to begin with.

– Low-skilled workers:

There will be no temporary or general visa options for low-skilled migrant workers.

3.4 million The number of EU citizens it is thought are living in the UK

The paper said: “UK businesses will need to adapt and adjust to the end of free movement, and we will not seek to recreate the outcomes from free movement within the points-based system.

“As such, it is important that employers move away from a reliance on the UK’s immigration system as an alternative to investment in staff retention, productivity, and wider investment in technology and automation.”

It is estimated 70% of the existing EU workforce would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route, which will help to bring overall numbers down in future, according the UK Home Office.

It is thought there are around 3.4 million EU citizens living in the UK and most are said to be unskilled or low-skilled workers.

Last week it was reported the new system could cut the number of low-skilled migrant workers from European Union countries by up to 90,000 a year.

The policy document mentioned the immigration system would “reduce overall migration numbers”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.