The UK is introducing a points-based immigration system which will come into force from 1st January 2021, ending the freedom of movement EU citizens currently have.
Under the new scheme, EU migrants will be treated the same as those from the rest of the world with regards to entering the EU instead of being able to enter and work in the UK without a visa.
How will it work?
The new points-based system will take different factors such as skills and language into account when awarding visas which will allow people to work in the UK.
Applicants will require 70 points to be eligible for a visa to live, work and study in the UK. Applicants from anywhere in the world must:
a) Have a job offer from an approved employer (see ‘Becoming an approved employer’ below);
b) Be at an appropriate skill level to fulfil the requirements of the role;
c) Be paid the relevant salary threshold (see ‘Salary Threshold’ below) by their sponsor; and
d) Speak English.
Holding the above four traits will earn an applicant a total of 50 points. A further 20 points will be required in order for the application to be considered, this could include:
Having higher qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD; or 20 points for a PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths)
Having a job offer in which the UK has a skills shortage (20 points)
A detailed list of jobs with skills shortages in the UK can be found at:
Becoming an Approved Employer
Employers without a Home Office approved sponsor license, who intend on sponsoring skilled migrants in the future will need to secure a Tier 2 sponsor license to hire both EU and non-EU nationals from 1st January 2021.
The below link explains whether the business is eligible, what type of license is required and how to apply: https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers.
The salary threshold required to enable a visa application will be, either £25,600 or the market rate for the job, whichever is higher. If the salary the employer is proposing is less, but not less than £20,480, an application may still be considered by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics such as a higher level qualification or an offer of a job with a UK skills shortage.
Visa Application Process
New immigration routes will open later this year (2020) for applications to work, live and study in the UK from 1 January 2021. Applicants will be able to apply and pay for their visa online and will be asked to provide biometric information. The process for this is:
EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens - A digital photo will be required using a smartphone app. For a small number of low volume routes (to be confirmed later this year) applicants will need to go to an overseas visa application centre to have their photo taken.
Non-EU Citizens - Will continue to submit their fingerprints and a photo at an overseas visa application centre.
Health and Care Visa
There will be a fast-track entry system for healthcare professionals including: doctors, nurses, health professionals and adult social care professionals. Those eligible for this visa will pay reduced fees and will be supported through the on-line application process, with decisions expected to be given within 3 weeks of the application.
A new graduate visa is proposed to be launched in summer 2021 and will allow students who have completed a degree to stay in the UK for 2 years, rising to 3 for those who have completed a PhD.
Visiting the UK
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and other non-visa nationals will not require a visa to enter the UK when visiting the UK for up to 6 months. All migrants looking to enter the UK for other reasons (such as work or study) will need to apply for entry clearance in advance.
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