The UK government revised the work and student visa rules after the 2016 European Union referendum to cover both EU and non-EU immigration. They made some changes in the existing regulations that came into light by the end of 2020 and got labelled as the new points-based immigration system. This new system is almost the same as what was in place for non-EU immigrants before Brexit. It retained most of the previous visa categories with some adjustments and continued emphasising employer sponsorship. It was a critical change in the immigration policy.
This guide aims to shed light on the changes that the points-based immigration system has introduced. Knowing these facts will also help you understand the new system better. With that being said, let’s get started.
Changes for Semi and High-Skilled Workers
The new points-based immigration system has emphasised a lot on the Skilled Worker visa programs for foreigners with job offers in the UK. It replaced the old Tier 2 work permit. Individuals still require a job offer and should possess good English language ability in order to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa. However, they can now be sponsored for middle-skilled occupations instead of just high-skilled ones. Some other changes made in the new system are as follows:
- The minimum salary range has been reduced. The lowest possible level has been decided, £20,480.
- Authority has also eliminated the requirement of job advertisements in the UK first.
- The annual quota has also been removed.
The new system has also introduced additional changes to work visas. It typically includes two new paths for highly skilled workers:
- High Potential Individual (HPI) visa
- Scale-up Worker visa
What About Low-Skilled Workers?
The new points-based immigration system states that workers cannot be employed from abroad to fill vacancies that require low-skilled workers. Social care and seasonal horticulture sector are excluded from this rule. The lack of general migration rules for lower-skilled workers has been contentious among a few stakeholders.
The UK’s immigration and visa laws are constantly evolving. The new points-based immigration system was just an outcome of that. In such a scenario, you must have a UK Immigration lawyer in your team who can help you navigate through the new system in a hassle-free way and improve your chance of getting the visa you want.
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