After leaving the European Union, the British government plans to introduce a point-based immigration system for foreign workers, thereby significantly restricting immigration. In order to receive a work visa in the future, candidates must have special skills, speak good English, and have a job offer, according to government proposals to be presented on Wednesday.
The UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said the new immigration system would reduce the number of immigrants on Tuesday evening. “We are ending freedom of movement, regaining control of our borders and taking care of people’s priorities,” said Patel. She spoke of a “historic moment”.
Great Britain officially left the European Union on January 31st after 47 years of membership. There will be a transition phase until the end of the year, during which the United Kingdom will remain in the EU internal market and the customs union.
After the end of the transition phase, the British government plans to put the new immigration rules into effect on January 1, 2021. The new system provides that candidates receive a certain number of points for their skills, qualifications and salary.
The new point system grants a maximum of 20 points if earnings are at least £ 25,600 (€ 30,820) a year. A further 20 points are awarded if “suitable competencies” are demonstrated or if the English language skills are at the “required level”. Specialists in so-called bottleneck occupations can get additional points. In total, candidates must collect at least 70 points.
“Visas are only given to those who get enough points,” the government said. This would give priority to the “best talents” such as “scientists, engineers and academics”. It is certain that Parliament will support the new immigration system, as the conservative Tories of Prime Minister Boris Johnson have a majority there.