U.K. Releases Details on New Skills-Based Immigration System

The U.K. government published additional details on its upcoming points-based immigration system.

 As Brexit was finalized and the country made its plans to leave the European Union (EU), it also announced earlier this year a plan for a new immigration system. Effective 1 January 2021, the U.K. aims to join other countries that have adopted a points-based immigration system with both EU and non-EU citizens. On 13 July, new details were outlined in a policy paper by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Of importance is that both EU and non-EU citizens will have to earn 70 points to be eligible to work in the U.K. as a skilled worker, with 50 of those points coming from a job offer from a recognized U.K. employer if the individual passes the U.S. criminality check. Applicants are expected to speak English and have a job that is deemed sufficiently skilled. Additional criteria are based on the applicant’s education level, how their current salary compares to the rate in their desired field, and whether there is a shortage of workers in that field.

BBC pointed out that in addition to this criteria, a Health and Care visa was established that’s open to workers with a confirmed job offer in skilled roles deemed essential within the U.K. National Health Service (NHS). A new graduate student route will also be launched next summer, with international students eligible to stay for a minimum of two years after their studies are complete. Overall, the system will be rolled out in phases, with more details to come.

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How This Impacts Mobility

With Brexit finalized and the EU and U.K. still negotiating key details of their relationship after the transition period, this new points-based immigration system ends the freedom of movement to the U.K. for EU nationals. Under the new points system U.K. employers who wish to employ skilled talent from the EU must obtain the newly designated “Skilled Worker License” for sponsorship and pay the associated costs. The new system in essence solidifies the post-Brexit future of the movement of skilled talent through the country. Should any member have questions regarding this update, please reach out to Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.