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No “Australian Visa System” in the UK

The UK government has finally released this morning some of their actual plans for the “new immigration system” after the Brexit. The new system is alleged to be more employer-led and will be implemented on 1 January 2021. The details released today do not cover family migration, asylum and students but covers workers (“fiscal migration”).

The new UK’s point-based system

As the UK will leave the EU by the end of 2020, the government has released their plans to “compensate” the cessation of the EU freedom of movement of people. Businesses and workers have been quite anxious about how the UK would shape their immigration system after Brexit and this morning the Home Office has finally disclosed their plans (some) on introducing a new UK’s points-based system following the Migration  Advisory Committee (MAC) report published last month. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/migration-advisory-committee-mac-report-points-based-system-and-salary-thresholds).

1. Skilled Workers

The Home Office will bring the skills threshold down from RQF6 to RQF3. These will open a door for more workers to become eligible to work in the UK. All other workers with lower skills than RFQ3 are not going to be benefited by any specific route, but the government will expand the pilot scheme for seasonal workers in agriculture providing 10,000 places for such individuals.

1.1. New Salary Threshold

Migrants still need to meet 70 points in order to be eligible to apply for the visa and have a job offer from a Home Office approved employer.

The gross annual general minimum salary, currently used on the Tier 2 General visa category, is going to be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants must still be paid according to the minimum “going rate” salary of their respective Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, which can be higher than the new salary threshold.

1.2. Trading Points and salary reduction

The new factor introduced is that migrants will be able to “trade” some of their job characteristic and qualifications towards points. This will particularly be very helpful if their salary is going to be less than the minimum threshold or “going rate” but never less than £20,480.

Migrants can “trade” to obtain points if:

  • their job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC); or
  • they have a Phd in a subject relevant to the job; or
  • they have a Phd in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject relevant to the job.

Salaries can be reduced as follows:

  • the job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC) – 20 % reduction
  • the migrant has a Phd in STEM subject – 20 % reduction
  • the migrant has a Phd in non-STEM subject – 10 % reduction

Please see below the trading points table published the Home Office

2. Dependants

The Home Office has confirmed that as now, skilled workers are going to be allowed to bring their dependants to the UK. No further information or details have been provided on this.

3. Global Talent visa category

As expected, the Global Talent Visa will be extended to EU citizens who will be able to come to work in the UK without a job offer, as long as they have been endorsed by a competent body.

4. Unsponsored visa route

The government mentioned that they are working on a broader unsponsored route which will allow the most highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer. No further details have been provided on this either.

5. Students

Student visas will also be points-based system managed where, students must have an offer from an approved educational institution, knowledge of English and funds to maintain themselves in the UK. Again, nor further information or details have been provided on this visa category.

6. EU Citizens

The government has confirmed that EU Citizens will be treated the same as non-visa nationals, where entry clearance is not required to be issued before coming to the UK for a maximum period of six month, but work is not permitted.

The UK unilaterally will allow EU citizens to use the e-Gates but stressed that this policy will be kept under review.

EU Citizens will be able to apply for visas using their smartphones to self-enrol face biometrics and fingerprints will not be required. Other citizens will have to visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) abroad to enrol their biometrics.

A physical visa or card will not be issued to EU citizens. Therefore, they will be able to prove their immigration status in the UK electronically.

If you would like to get more information on the above or have any question in Immigration  please contact us on +44 (0) 1733 36 4040 or visit us at www.ipmglobalmobility.com  

20 February 2020, by Michael Rodriguez

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