The New Points-Based Immigration System

By Australasian Recruitment Company – December 30, 2020

The New Points-Based Immigration System

The New Points-Based Immigration System

Free movement between the UK and the EU will end on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, anyone coming to work or study in the UK from anywhere in the world will need to apply through the points-based immigration system which offers new immigration routes treating EU and non-EU citizens equally.

The launch of these new immigration routes will ensure that businesses can continue to attract the brightest and best people from around the world. Under a points-based immigration system, anyone coming to the UK for work must meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points. Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points. Routes already available to non-EU nationals, as well as new routes such as the Skilled Worker route, have been extended to allow applications from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

The New Skilled Worker Route

From 1 January 2021 employers will need to have a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK (this does not apply to Irish citizens). The Skilled Worker route has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa route.

Under the new skilled worker system, anyone coming to the UK to work will need to demonstrate that:

  • They have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • The job offer is at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)
  • They speak English to the required standard

In addition to this, the job offer must meet the applicable minimum salary threshold. This is the higher of either:

  • The general salary threshold set by Her Majesty’s Government on advice of the independent Migration Advisory Committee at £25,600, or
  • The specific salary requirement for their occupation, known as the “going rate”

A total of 70 points is needed to be able to apply to work in the UK. Further information on the “going rate” for specific occupations and further exemptions can be found in Annex E of the UK points-based immigration system: further details statement.

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens Living in the UK Before 31 December

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 should not apply through the points-based immigration system and will instead apply to remain in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021 and once the application is approved EU citizens will need to provide their employer with a share code to prove their new residency status.

Helpful Links

You can listen to the podcast Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021 to understand more about the new system.

For information about the new immigration system:

Specifically for employers about the Skilled Worker route:

For EU citizens living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020

For EU citizens wishing to move to and work in the UK on or after 1 January 2021:

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