The UK Government will introduce the new points-based immigration system from 2021

The UK government will be introducing the new points based immigration system in 2021. This is partly due to the UK leaving the EU and when Brexit is completed. The new points based system, is going to be a new adaption to help fill key shortage areas and recruit skilled workers to the UK.

The Visa application process

The new routes are expected to go live from October 2020 – This year! These routes will then begin from 1st January 2021. The difference in time from when it starts to begins is that it will be open to new applications but the few months time-lag is to allow for visa processing and to allow those who want to come in Jan 2021 time to prepare in advance.

Is there any differences from EU/EEA nationals and non-EU/EEA nationals?

EU/EEA nationals will only have to provide an uploaded photo from their smartphone in the new application process whereas non-EU/EEA nationals will have to complete biometrics overseas as is current practice. Biometrics involves visiting a centre to have taken digital fingerprints and a digital photo. In both situations the application forms and documents will be online and uploaded directly to the Home Office for processing.

Skilled workers

There will be a route for skilled workers under the points based immigration system. Current requirements are:

  • Able to speak English – likely at level A2 or B1, but as yet to be confirmed
  • Skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level)
  • Minimum general salary threshold will be  £25,600.
  • Some who earn less than the minimum general threshold but earn no less than £20,480 may be able to still qualify based on if your job is a shortage job or you have a PhD

Global Talent Scheme

The global talent scheme will be available to EU and EEA  citizens. It will allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers to come to the UK without a job offer.

Low Skilled workers

Currently there is no route for low skilled workers who do not meet the salary thresholds for the skilled worker route. The Home Office have suggested a seasonal agricultural scheme may run to help fill shortages in the agricultural sector.

International Students and Graduates

As before student visa routes will continue. These routes will now be opened up to EU/EEA nationals to study in the UK. Criteria to study in the UK are:

  • have been offered a place on a course
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course

Graduates will have a new route open from summer of 2021 similar to the old Tier 1 Post Stud Work Visa. This will allow graduates to apply for a visa to seek work in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years.

Other Visa Routes

Tier 5 temporary visas and investor visas will be opened up to EU nationals. Also to note is that EU/EEA nationals will not need a visa to visit the UK in keeping with current practice.

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