Sunday, August 1

The UK’s Points-Based Immigration System: Work Visas reformed

From January 2021, UK is introducing a new points-based immigration system. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work. Points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations and visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points. The points-based system will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements for skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK through an employer-led system.

For Skilled Workers

From 2021, anyone coming to the UK to work will need to demonstrate that:

In addition to this:

  • if they earn more than the required minimum salary threshold they are eligible to make an application
  • if they earn less than the required minimum salary threshold, but no less than £20,480, they may still be eligible if they can demonstrate that they have a job offer in a specific shortage occupation or a PhD relevant to the job

Anyone coming to the UK to work will therefore need to be paid the “going rate” according to their skills and qualifications. However, the general minimum salary threshold will be £25,600. If you earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary.

A total of 70 points is needed to be able to apply to work in the UK.

  Bookings for Visa Purposes
CharacteristicsTradeablePoints
Offer of job by approved sponsorNo20
Job at appropriate skill levelNo20
Speaks English at required levelNo10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039Yes
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599Yes10
Salary of £25,600 or aboveYes20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory CommitteeYes20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the jobYes10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the jobYes20
Source: www.gov.uk

For International Students and Graduates

You can apply through the Student visa route if you,

  • 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

A new Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021. This will enable international students to remain in the UK and work at any skill level for 2 years, or 3 years if you are a PhD graduate, after they have completed their studies. More occupations will be soon be eligible to opt for immigration as skilled work.

Highlights of the Point-Based System

  • Extra points are allocated for occupations that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) determines to be in shortage. Providing immediate temporary relief for shortage areas means that it is easier to recruit migrants.
  • Migrants will still be awarded points for holding a relevant PhD or if the occupation is in shortage, which they will be able to trade against a salary lower than the ‘going rate’
  • As of now, skilled workers may be accompanied by their dependants.
  • The most highly skilled, who can achieve the required level of points, will be able to enter the UK without a job offer if they are endorsed by the relevant competent body.
  • Applicants who wish to work in the UK from 1 January 2021, will be able to apply through this system from autumn 2020.  
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Disclaimer: The above information has been reproduced from UK’s official government website, www.gov.uk. The information, rules & regulations may vary with time. iAbroad holds no warranty of any kind.