UK to start using new points-based immigration policy

By Simone Barton

The government have announced that from 1 January 2021 the UK will no longer have freedom of movement but will instead switch to a points based system, similar to the one used in Australia. The new policy will require applicants to score a minimum of 70 points to apply for a Visa, with several of the characteristics being essential (or non-tradeable).

Labour’s home secretary Diane Abbott has criticised the new policy, particularly the rule that makes it mandatory for immigrants to speak English, stating “most people who come here to work can already speak English,” she said. “But are we really going to block maths geniuses whose English isn’t great? It’s inhumane and damaging.”

Here are the stand out points from the policy statement published today:

  • All migrants must speak English, and already have a job offer to a suitable skill level
  • The job must have a salary of at least £25,600 (£20,480 in special cases where there are a skills shortage e.g. nursing)
  • There is no-route for self employed people
  • No longer accepting ID cards from France and Italy, this is due to the amount of fraudulent and stolen ID cards being used
  • Education threshold lowered from degree level to A-Levels
  • Cap on the numbers of skilled workers to be scrapped

Who will this affect?

According to The Confederation of British Industry director general Carolyn Fairbairn “with already low unemployment, firms in care, construction, hospitality, food and drink could be most affected”.

Hotels could also be affected as they heavily rely on EU labour for areas such as security, house keeping and cleaning.

Home secretary Priti Patel has stated that companies will need to train more British workers to fill these low skill roles that will become vacant due to the new immigration rules, helping them to “up their skills and make their skills relevant”.

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