Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has released more details of the UK’s proposed points-based immigration system as she sends a message around the world that the UK is looking to attract the brightest global talent.
The new immigration system will come into effect from 1 January 2021 and has been designed, the Government says, to treat people from around the world equally, while also allowing the UK to exercise greater control over who can come to the UK to work and reside.
The new system will, the Government hopes, help to deliver a strong economic future at a time when the country is facing challenges due to COVID-19 and the UK’s departure from the EU.
The newly released details of the system have been unveiled to give employers the time to prepare. The new immigration system will be implemented in phases to ensure a smooth delivery. This will include several simplified immigration routes, which include:
- Health and Care Visa – Open to key healthcare professionals, making it easier and cheaper for them to work in the UK.
- Graduate Visa Route – Opening in the summer of 2021, this will allow international students to stay in the UK once they have completed their studies. Students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees will be able to stay for two years and those who have completed a PhD can stay for three years to help them secure skilled jobs in the UK and contribute to economic growth.
- The Global Talent Scheme – This will allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers to come to the UK without a job offer and give the best students access to the UK’s “world-leading” universities.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel said: “Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from 1 January 2021.
“Britain is open for business and ready to welcome the best and brightest global talent.”
As well as new immigration routes being made available, the system requires those applying via the skilled worker route to accrue points by meeting some of the relevant criteria, such as having a job offer at the appropriate skill level, the ability to speak English and meeting a salary threshold.
It will also expand the skills threshold for skilled workers so that an applicant’s job must be at the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system.
This will provide greater flexibility and ensure UK businesses have access to a wider pool of skilled workers.
Of course, those EU citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 can still apply for settled status in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021.
This scheme will allow many EU workers to continue to reside in the UK in future should they wish to continue to work and live in the country once the transition period ends.
If you require support with immigration to the UK or the EU Settlement Scheme, please speak to our team of immigration specialists.