A new points-based immigration system in the UK will officially come into effect from the start of next year.
The new immigration system will end the freedom movement protocol that was currently in place while the UK was a member of the European Union.
It will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and visas will only be awarded to those who gain enough points. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally. It will give top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, engineers and academics.
The points threshold will be carefully set to attract the talent the UK needs. Skilled workers will need to meet a number of relevant criteria, including specific skills and the ability to speak English, to be able to work in the UK.
Those looking to live and work in the UK will now need to be qualified up to A level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current immigration system. This, the government says, will provide greater flexibility and ensure UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers.
In line with the government’s manifesto commitment there will be no specific route for low-skilled workers. It is estimated 70 per cent 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.
Student visa routes will also be points-based and be opened up to EU citizens.
EU citizens and other non-visa nationals will not require a visa to enter the UK when visiting the UK for up to six months.
Article published 20th February 2020