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Post Brexit Immigration System

The topic of immigration was in the spotlight during the Pre-Brexit period. Now that Brexit has actually happened and the transition period has been strictly defined with the end date of 31 December 2020, Home Office released its plans on the future immigration system. As of today, 19 February 2020, we are able to share with our readers a more comprehensive view of the future of immigration after Brexit.

As expected, UKVI will implement a universal points-based system for those who wish to work and settle in the UK. But what does it imply in the practicality of immigration in the UK? Let’s see what will become a history first.

The main demographics to be affected are the EEA and Swiss citizens. They will no longer have the freedom of movement and labour in the UK like they used to. They will be treated like any other nation. However, those who entered the UK before the Brexit deadline will be allowed to stay and granted Settled Status under EU Settlement Scheme.

Turkish Citizens will also be affected by the changes in the immigration system as they are currently enjoying particular rights derived from the ECAA, known as Ankara Agreement which gives them the right to set up a business in the UK or be sponsored in favourable conditions.

On the other hand, all the rights of current immigrants will continue, giving the EU citizens and Turkish citizens the right to extend their stay in the UK or apply for settlement as long as they can prove their eligibility.

For the EEA, Swiss and Turkish citizens the door is still open until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, so anyone thinking of living and working in the UK can still do so until this deadline.

This change says that the immigration rules will apply to anyone, irrespective of their nationality now. But what rules will apply to everyone? What is changed and what will be implemented as of 1 January 2021?

New routes were announced today, and they suggest changes to the current Tier system. There are two main routes that will be used in more mainstream employment terms. The first one is the Points-Based System replacing the Tier 2 General mainly.

Points-based system

The minimum salary requirement was decided to be £25,600 after the Migration Advisory Committee’s comment. Caps, quotas are lifted, and Resident Labour Market Test will no longer be required. A migrant with a job offer must reach 70 points, but the base 50 points must be met in any case. These 50 points are composed of English language requirement (10 points), a job offer (20 points) and an appropriate skill level (20 points).

However, if the job offered is listed on the Shortage Occupation List or if the candidate has a relevant PhD, they might be sponsored to work in the UK with a lower salary.

Global Talent Route

The second route that was highlighted in the Post-Brexit immigration system is the Global Talent Route. This route aims to attract more top tier professionals, especially on the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). This is an existing route, however, within the new rules, it is expected to be implemented in more flexible terms. These individuals will be welcomed to move to the UK without a job offer in place as before. Yet they are still expected to be endorsed by a higher education body or a registered endorser in the UK. This route will have further additions and updates on it, as explained in the statement issued by the Home Office.

The new immigration system offers more relaxed conditions for sponsored workers and sponsoring companies, but it closes the doors on the once free-moving low skilled labour of the EEA citizens.

The privileges of the EEA citizens and Turkish citizens are ongoing till 31 December 2020, so individuals from the EEA countries and Turkey with plans to work and live in the UK should ensure their arrival into the UK before this date.