Getting Ready For The UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System

Posted on: June 4th, 2020

Whilst it is hard to think about anything other than COVID-19 and the unparalleled circumstances we are all experiencing, employers cannot forget that in just a few months’ time significant changes to the UK’s immigration system will take place.

From 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a new points-based immigration system. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and will substantially transform the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work.

New Employer Guide

With all the other news stories this month, it was easy to miss that the Home Office has now published an introduction for employers on the UK’s new immigration system. The guide provides an overview of the new system and sets out the steps employers can take to prepare.

Importantly, the guide reiterates that the new system will not apply to EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020. They and their family members are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and still have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. As a transition measure, rest assured that employers can continue to accept the passports and national identity cards of EU citizens as evidence of their right to work up until 30 June 2021.

For other foreign nationals, in summary, the new system is focused towards ‘skilled’ workers. Points will be awarded to workers for their specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations. Visas are then awarded to those who gain sufficient points.

The Home Office’s new introduction is well worth a read by all employers. However, if you wish to discuss the new immigration system and how it will affect your business and workforce from next year, we would be happy to help. Our Employment and Business Immigration Team’s contact information can be accessed here.