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The UK opens new points-based immigration system

UK Immigration

The new post-Brexit Tier 2 visa program has been launched by the UK Government. As per a Press Release – published by the UK Home Office on December 1, 2020 – “Applications for the new skilled worker visa open today”.

With the opening of the UK’s new points-based immigration system, foreign nationals intending to work in the UK can now claim points for their skills, speaking English, and possessing a job offer.

From January 1, 2021, “the brightest and the best from around the world can now apply to work in the UK”.

UK tech visa applications are up by 48% in 2020. As per the Tech Nation Visa Report 2020, “Demand for global tech talent relocating to the UK has rocketed in 2020”.

As per the points-based system, anyone coming to the UK for work will be required to meet specific requirements. Score points will be awarded for each of the requirements that the individual meets successfully.

Those gaining the required number of points – 70 points – will be granted visas for work overseas in the UK.

Treating EU and non-EU citizens equally, the new points-based UK immigration system will provide effective and flexible arrangements for UK employers to recruit skilled workers from around the world. There will be various immigration routes available before them for the same.

A significant change for UK employers looking to recruit overseas talent, the new system will ensure that businesses get to recruit the most highly qualified from the world over that can come to the UK for driving the economy forwards and keeping the UK at the frontier of innovation.

The new UK immigration system will also encourage employers to focus on training and investing in the UK workforce that can drive productivity, improving the opportunities available for individuals.

Additionally, immigration routes have been opened for those individuals that have “an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture”.

As applications are to be made online, the individual must be able to prove their identity and provide the required documentation.

UK immigration routes opened on December 1, 2020

  • The skilled worker visa [the earlier Tier 2 visa]
  • The Global Talent visa, for those with exceptional talent/promise in fields like digital technology, medicine, engineering etc.
  • The Innovator Visa, for those looking at establishing a business in the UK
  • The Start-up visa, for an individual looking to set-up a business in the UK for the first time
  • The Intra-company Transfer visa, for established workers transferred to fulfil a skilled role in the UK

Previously, the Student and Child Student route had opened on October 5, 2020, inviting “the best and brightest international students from across the globe”.

The UK has also reduced the earlier required minimum salary threshold of £35,800 for migrants to settle in the UK. According to the rules – coming into force on December 1 – the minimum salary threshold has been reduced to £20,480. A reduction of almost 30%.

Key details

A total of 70 points will be required by a skilled worker for working in the UK under the new points-based immigration system.

Mandatory/Tradeable* Characteristics Points
Mandatory Job offer [by approved sponsor] 20
Job at appropriate skill level 20
Ability to speak English at the required level 10
Tradeable Salary £20,480 to £23,039

OR

A minimum of 80% of the going rate for the profession

The higher amount will be applicable.

0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599

OR at least 90% of the going rate for the profession

The higher amount will be applicable.

10
Salary of £25,600 or above

OR

At least the going rate for the profession

The higher amount will be applicable.

20
Job in a shortage occupation [as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee] 20
PhD in a subject relevant to the job 10
PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job 20

*By ‘tradeable’ is implied the facility to “trade characteristics, such as their qualifications, against a lower salary to get the required number of points”.

Generally, a decision can be expected in within 3 months from the date of submitting their online application.

The visa will be granted for “up to 5 years before it needs to be extended”. 

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to the UK, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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