UK Government publish further details on the points-based immigration system
In a 130-page policy paper, the Home Office have provided some further details on the future points-based immigration system that will be in place from 1 January 2021 (following the end of the Brexit transition period).
Despite the length of the policy paper, significant portions of the document restate information which has previously been announced, including the effective closing of the UK’s borders to migrants who do not speak English, or to low paid/unskilled migrants.
The Paper sets out the three visa routes for migrants seeking to live and work in the UK: i) the Skilled Worker route; ii) the Global Talent route; and iii) the Start-up and Innovator route. All three of these routes exist in some form already, and in the case of both the Global Talent and Start-up/Innovator routes, these will continue to require endorsement from one of the Government’s designated competent bodies (such as Tech Nation and the newly introduced UK Research and Innovation).
Meanwhile the Skilled Worker route requires migrants to receive sponsorship from an employer (in the same way as the current Tier 2 visa category). However the Paper removes the cap on Tier 2 migrants, and has also seen the Resident Labour Market Test scrapped in a bid to reduce the bureaucracy involved in employing migrants through the route. Further details have also been provided on the salary threshold for visas issued under this route, and how these can vary depending on the type of job being offered.
In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Paper introduced the fast-track visa route for health workers, which is intended to make moving to the UK to work for the NHS “quicker, cheaper, and easier”. However, this policy has been criticised for excluding care workers from the fast-track visa system. Vic Rayner of the National Care Forum described the stance as “an unmitigated disaster” in reference to the potential loss of 38% of London’s care workers as a result.
The Paper also highlighted the intention to continue with the relaxed version of right to work and right to rent checks that has been put in place during the Covid-19 period, allowing employers, employees, landlords and tenants to complete these checks via video calls.
Although the document is titled “Further details”, it is slightly lacking on this front, and as such we expect that further (further) details will be published again before the end of the Brexit transition period.
For further information on this topic please contact a member of Kemp Little’s Immigration team.
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