The government has set out its plans for a new points-based immigration system, that will come into effect on January 1st 2021.
A bill has been introduced into parliament by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, which will remove freedom of movement for EU citizens. Instead, migrants from EU member states will be subject to the same immigration criteria as people from the rest of the world.
What is the points-based c system?
The new system will assign points for specific qualifications, skills, salaries, and shortage occupations. Anyone seeking to enter the UK to work will only be granted visas if they can demonstrate they’ve accumulated enough points to enter.
Applicants who wish to enter the UK to take up employment as a skilled worker will need to demonstrate:
• Job offer – they will need to have the offer of employment from a Home Office approved sponsor.
• Skill level – the job will need to be at the required academic/skills level. This is set at level 3 of the Registered Qualification Level framework, which is A-level or an equivalent qualification.
• Language – they will need to be able to speak English.
• Minimum salary threshold – the job should pay a salary of at least £26,000.
• Shortage occupation – if the job does not reach the minimum salary threshold, it may qualify if it appears on the shortage occupation list and can offer a salary of at least £20,480. It currently includes occupations such as civil engineers, nurses. and graphic designers. The shortage occupation list is likely to change over time and can be accessed here.
How are the points calculated?
Example – a graphic designer with a job offer paying £23,000 per annum will receive 20 points for their job with a Home Office approved sponsor. They will receive another 20 points for their RQF 3 qualification, and another 10 points if they have a firm grasp of the English language. As a shortage occupation they would receive 20 points, but they wouldn’t receive any salary threshold points.
The graphic designer would have the 70 points necessary to secure a visa.
Extra points would also be available if they had higher qualifications such as 10 points for a PhD, or 20 points if that PhD is in a science, technology or maths discipline.
Health & Care Visa
The Home Office has announced details of a specific visa and fast-track entry system for doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals. Care workers are currently not eligible for this visa.
People who are eligible for this visa will pay reduced fees and will be supported through the application process. Decisions are expected to be given within 3 weeks. Applicants who apply through this route will still have to meet the relevant skill level and salary thresholds.
EU citizens and their families who wish to remain in the UK after the transition period comes to an end on the 31st December will need to apply for an immigration status to legally stay. The Home Office has set up a special application process called the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens and their families who can prove they’ve lived in the UK for 5 years will be able to apply for settled status, those who have not yet lived here for 5 years can apply for pre-settled status.
Up to date advice
The experienced team of immigration specialists at Murria Solicitors can offer advice about the new points-based immigration system. Get in touch to discuss your individual circumstances and to learn how we can help.