UK Immigration Update – July 2020
The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has set out the post-Brexit immigration plan, where the UK will be adopting an Australian style points-based system as of 1st January 2021.
Here are the latest updates of what changes can be expected across many immigration categories.
For more info and to gain a background on the points-based system, click here.
Consequences for EU migrants
These new rules have come about as we are approaching the end of the Brexit transitional period on 31st December 2020 and will have huge implications on the immigration status’ of EU nationals, who will be treated no different to non EU nationals as from the New Year.
EU nationals currently in the UK must apply through the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status o run the risk of not being allowed to stay in the UK.
EU nationals who want to come to the UK before the official end date of the transitional period must do so before 31st December 2020 and apply through the EU Settlement Scheme pre-settled or settled status by 30th June 2021.
Those EU nationals who fail to apply for pre-settled or settled status by 30th June 2021 will be regarded as overstayers remaining in the UK unlawfully and subject to removal. Whether they will be removed, however, is a different matter.
If you need help with your EU Settlement Scheme application or have any questions regarding your immigration status post-2020, please feel free to ask one of our lawyers about yoru specific case.
UK workers in the EU
This point is still part of the negotiations and should be resolved before the end of the transitional period 31st December 2020; we will update you as soon as the Home Office releases more information.
Tier 2 work visa – An end to the Labour market test for work permit applications
Since there will be no difference in the treatment of EU and non- EU nationals, the labour market test which was enshrined into the work permit regulations, to give persons in the British labour force and in the EEA an opportunity to apply for a position before the job was offered to those outside Europe, will be abolished.
Priority will be given to skilled workers
The points-based system which will come into effect in 2021 is structured in a way that has redefined the concepts of “skilled” and “unskilled workers” in the immigration rules. The term “skilled worker” is now used to include those who can speak English to a required level, have A-level/Scottish Higher equivalent standard, not just graduate-level qualifications that are currently included under the term in the present immigration rules.
The term “unskilled worker” has been used to define individuals who work in industries such as catering, farmwork and hospitality where the average person in the UK earns between £16,400- £18,400. As the new rules state that the minimum salary of £25,000 per annum gross is necessary to gain entry into the UK, visas will no longer be granted for those who do not meet this criterion.
For more info on the points-based system read our article here.
How will points be scored?
The required points that an individual needs to apply for entry clearance into the UK and be successful are 70 and are given for example for a job offer at the appropriate skill level; speaking English and salary at the threshold of £25,000 or above. Foreign workers will need to earn a minimum of £25,000 to be allowed to enter the UK for work. Those who apply under the shortage occupation list will be able to score additional points; even if they don’t make the threshold of £25,000. See the table below for the breakdown.
The new Health and Care visa
There will be a new visa for Heath workers such as nurses and doctors coming to work in the UK and to support not only the NHS system but other care sectors where there are staff shortages. The visa will enable migrant workers to take up job offers and to move here with their families. But unless there are special rules for them, their low pay below the £25,000 for staffing of private care homes and social care which would mean that there will be an emptiness in this area of care services in the UK.
The start-up visa, innovator visa, global talent visa, investor visa and sole representative visas are the only other business routes to the UK will continue to operate post-2020 and they are some of the best visas to apply for to gain eventual settlement in the UK. For more information about these areas visit the immigration section on our website or contact us directly if you need help with your application.