After Brexit, the UK government has announced a new points-based immigration system which was described by Home Secretary as “firmer, fairer and simpler. Under the new system, overseas citizens applying to come to the UK for work purposes will have to meet a strict set of criteria about the applicant’s level of English, profession and qualifications.
The new system is announced to come into force on January 1,2021 and will end the free movement of person. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally. The change in rules will have affect also on business as they will need to hold a valid sponsor licence bot EU and non – EU workers.
The controversial immigration bill was voted on Monday 18th of May 2020 and passed with 351 votes to 251. Now, the Bill will be subject to further scrutiny and if passed the EU freedom of movement will end.
How Would The Points-Based System Work?
Under the new system, overseas citizens who want to work and live in the UK will be evaluated on a "points-based" immigration system, as promised in the Conservative election manifesto.
Points will be awarded for speaking English and having the offer of a skilled job with an "approved sponsor", who will pay minimum £25,600. More points would be awarded for qualifications, the salary on offer and working in a sector with shortages. Overall, the applicants will be expected to reach 70 points to be able to work in the UK. Overseas citizens who cannot reach 70 points will be considered as low-skilled and will not be accepted to the country. The system is only introduced to us at the moment and the plan will need to be separately approved by the Parliament.
The bill has been criticised for putting into disadvantage people on lower income although they have made a significant contribution to the society and have demonstrated their value as key workers during the current crisis. Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said, “Those who clapped (for carers) on Thursday are only too happy to vote through a bill that will send a powerful message to those same people - that they are not considered by this government to be skilled workers.”
Challenges For Employers
The government emphasized that this new system would not introduce a route for lower-skilled/lower-paid workers, urging businesses to "adapt and adjust" to the end of free movement between EU countries and the UK. The new framework will represent a significant change for employers in the UK. Businesses will need to adapt to the new immigration system from 1st of January 2021. We encourage everyone to get prepared ahead of time. Contact us for more details.