February 21, 2020 518
Now that Brexit has been done European free movement will eventually go. From 1 January 2021 EEA nationals and their family members will no longer be able to come to the UK to work, study or retire as they can at the moment. They will encounter the same immigration restrictions as do non-EEA nationals.
The Government is creating a “new” points-based system which is supposed to come into operation on that date.
We have had points-based systems in one form or another for as long as we can remember and of course we currently have a points-based system consisting of Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5.
The new system will involve a substantial revamp of the Tier 2 Skilled Workers scheme, which will be significantly liberalised.
As before, all migrants under the scheme will have to have a job offer from an approved sponsor, and they will also have to have the required level of English language skills.
But the minimum job skill level will be reduced from RQF6 to RQF3 and minimum salaries are going to be significantly lowered. In some cases a salary as low as £20,480 will qualify.
Migrants will have to score a minimum of 70 points. An appropriate job offer and appropriate level of skill will automatically score 40 points and suitable English language ability will score a further 10 points.
The further required 20 points can be scored in different ways. Salaries of at least £23,040 will score extra points. A job on the shortage occupation list will also score extra points. And a PhD qualification will also score extra points, and in this case the number of extra points may depend on the subject studied.
As before, dependants (partner and minor children) will be allowed to come to the UK with the main applicant.
And there are further liberalisations to the scheme: the cap on migrant numbers is going to be removed, as is the Resident Labour Market Test – ie the requirement in many cases for employers to advertise positions on the resident labour market before a Tier 2 migrant is sponsored.
This new system is clearly going to broaden out the Tier 2 scheme and make it accessible to more migrants than it is at present, and this no doubt reflects the reality that the hitherto unlimited supply of EEA workers is going to dry up.
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