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Posted on February 25 2020

UK’s new points-based immigration system: Equal opportunity for everyone

By  Editor
Updated March 07 2024

The government of UK announced the launch of a points-based immigration system which will come into effect from January 2021.  This will be at the end of the transition period after the UK’s exit from the European Union or Brexit which took place last month.


The points-based immigration system was created based on the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee or MAC.  The main features of the points-based migration include:

  • Immigration candidates for both EU and non-EU nations will be treated the same way
  • Highly skilled workers, skilled workers and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
  • A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
  • Salary threshold will now be 26,000 pounds per year, reduced from 30,000 pounds required earlier
  • Applicants must prove that they can speak English (A-level or equivalent)
  • Highly skilled workers will need to be endorsed by a UK body, however, they do not need a job offer
  • Students will also come under the points-based system to study in the UK and must show proof of an admission letter from an educational institute, English proficiency and funds.
  • 70 points are the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa

A job offer and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:

  • Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
  • 10 points for a relevant PhD or 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject
  • 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage

Why was a points-based system introduced?

With a points-based system, the government hopes to admit migrants based on their skills and hopes to get the best and brightest migrants to come to the country and contribute to the development of the economy.


The new system will ensure only highly skilled migrants will get a visa and gives a fair chance to every applicant. Also, the points-based system is transparent. Based on their scores, applicants will know exactly where they stand, and they can determine the areas they need to improve on to score more points.


Under the new system, points will be assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. The policy is aimed at bringing down immigration and end the dependence on low –skilled labor from abroad but rather force employees to train the local population for such jobs.


The new immigration system aims to give top priority to immigrant candidates with a high level of skills which includes engineers, scientists and academics.


Apart from this, the global talent scheme will help highly skilled scientists and engineers to come to the country without a job offer.


What will be the impact of the points-based system?

The new system is expected to increase migration opportunities for skilled workers. The change in the English language requirements is expected to give British employers access to a larger pool of skilled workers.


The government’s decision to remove the cap on immigrants who can come to the UK under the skilled route and the lack of a resident labor market test will help skilled immigrants easily find a job in the country.


This new system will be applicable to all migrants to the UK whether from the EU or other countries. The implementation of a points-based system will enable the government to utilize a uniform immigration system based on skills.


The primary motive behind introducing a points-based system is to reduce low-skilled migration to the country and bringing down the overall migration numbers.


UK Immigration


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