New UK point based immigration system – Wonderful news for Indian Applicants

The government has revealed more details of its plan for a new point based immigration system to replace freedom of movement, now the UK has left the EU. The new UK point based immigration system will take away the advantage EU-applicants enjoyed in the UK job market.

Under the new UK point based immigration system, EU migrants will be treated the same as those from the rest of the world including Indians.


What’s in the proposals?

The government wants a “points-based immigration system” which takes different factors like skills and language into account when awarding visas which would allow people to work in the UK.

In a policy statement being published on Wednesday 19 February, the government says that to get a visa, applicants from anywhere in the world must:

  • Have a job offer from an “approved employer” at an “appropriate skill level”
  • Speak English

That will get an applicant to 50 points. But they must have 70 points to be eligible for a visa. The most straightforward route to the final 20 points is that the applicant will:

  • Earn at least £25,600 (reduced from the £30,000 which currently applies to non-EU applicants. This was a recommendation from the MAC.)

But they can also gain extra points for having better qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD; or 20 points for a PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths) or an offer of a job in which the UK has a shortage (20 points), even if they don’t earn as much money.

UK point based immigration system

What’s the UK system now?

Currently, those from within the EU do not need a visa to work in the UK because they benefit from freedom of movement – although there are limits on claiming certain benefits.

For those from outside the EU, there is already a system in place based on points.

These points are already awarded for having English language skills, being sponsored by a company and meeting a salary threshold.

A maximum number of work visas are awarded – the cap is set at around 21,000 a year but it isn’t often met.

There are four “tiers” of visa assessed on points. There are a few other types of visa available, with different rules – for example, family visas for the spouses and relatives of people coming on work visas.

The four points-based visas are for:

  • Temporary workers, for example people coming to do seasonal work on farms or in a theatre production or on a charity project
  • Students
  • Skilled workers
  • “High-value” migrants for example people with “exceptional talent” or major investors

Under the new system, the government will continue with a pilot scheme for seasonal agricultural workers. But it does not intend to introduce a general low-skilled or temporary work route.

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Source – BBC News and UKBA

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