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Home Office announces new immigration system

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19 February 2020 | UK NEWS

The Home Office has today announced the new immigration system to be used by the UK from 1 January 2021. It is, as expected, a points-based system that will require prospective applicants to earn at least 70 points in order to be approved for a visa. There will be no discrimination whatsoever as to an applicant’s country of origin.

There are nine assessment criteria, of which three are essential, while the remaining six are “tradeable”, which is to say they can be drawn upon as applicable. Under the essential criteria, applicants must have a job offer from an employer approved by the Home Office (20 points), which must be of an “appropriate skill level” (a further 20 points), and must speak English to a “required level” (10 points). Cumulatively, this provides for 50 of the required 70 points.

The role offered to applicants must carry a salary of at least £20,480 per annum, although between this sum and £23,039, it will not score any further points. 10 further points are available towards the required floor standard for a salary between £23,040 and £25,599, while a salary of £25,600 or more will gain 20 points.

There are three other ways to accumulate points. The first requires the job to be in a designated “shortage occupation”, as defined by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which scores 20. The second requires the applicant to hold a PhD in a subject relevant to the job, which scores 10. The third requires a PhD in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subject relevant to the job, which scores 20.

As an example, then, an applicant who secures the offer of any skilled role earning £26,000 from an employer on the approved sponsor list, with a good command of English, would be eligible for a visa. Equally, an applicant with good English and the offer of a skilled role on £24,000 from another approved sponsor, and who has a PhD in a relevant area (whether or not STEM), would also be eligible.

It is understood that the MAC will be commissioned to draw up a list of “shortage occupations”. We presume that similar definitions will also need to be arrived at in the future for an “appropriate skill level” for jobs and a “required level” of command of English.

We will bring you further updates on the development of the UK’s new immigration system as they come in.

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