The immigration system in the United Kingdom continues to evolve, usually having changes twice a year, as well as minor changes that are considered necessary. The opportunities for foreign workers in the country are still uncertain, especially in the midst of the Brexit transition until the end of 2020, the current pandemic, and the economic recession. Another issue is the implementation of the novel points-based immigration scheme. 

The changes in the immigration system will become a momentous development in the country’s immigration laws. This new system will change the way companies hire and utilise workers. With the updates on immigration laws, which are already complex, you will need the help of an experienced immigration solicitor. You can visit to get professional help when you want to migrate to the UK. 

The significant changes

Here are the highlights of the new points-based immigration ruling.

Equal opportunity. Effective at the start of 2021, a points-based immigration scheme is going to provide equal opportunity for people looking to enter the UK for work, and businesses that want to hire international workers. Since the UK is no longer part of the European Union, candidates from the EU and non-EU countries will require a visa and sponsorship to come and work in the country. Exceptions are the EU workers that will arrive in the country before the last day of 2020. They will not be required to obtain sponsorship if they can utilise the EU Settlement Scheme before the end of June 2021.

EU Settlement Scheme. Recruiters focusing on EU candidates should make full use of the opportunities during the changeover period and bring as many workers as possible until the end of December. They should encourage these workers to avail of the EU Settlement Scheme so they can continue living in the country. The UK is officially in recession; so many businesses will soon limit their recruitment until the economy gets better.

Opportunity for the global workforce. Global companies with an international workforce will see an easing in the processing and compliance issues. Beginning in January 2021, the non-UK workers can switch from Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT) to the primary Tier 2 visa.

Graduate route. In mid-2021, the UK will launch a graduate route. International students who graduated from universities in the UK can work in the country for a maximum of two years. Employers will have access to an international talent pool without incurring sponsorship costs. 

Expansion of sponsorships. Employment sponsorships will be available to other workers, such as restaurant managers, bricklayers, and retail managers. In the past, only graduate-level positions were available for sponsorship. 

Newcomer route. The more expansive newcomer route will include applicants who are working to gain professional qualifications and those who are working for their postdoctoral posts. 

Lower salary level. Some employers will welcome the reduction in annual salary by about £5,000. Some applicants, including newcomers or those who have a PhD in any science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline or workers in shortage occupation roles, may be offered an annual salary of about £20,500. 

Increase in sponsorship charges. The Immigration Skills Charge will go as high as £1000 per visa per year from the current rate. The annual Immigration Health Surcharge remains the same.  

A higher level of English proficiency. New visa applicants will have to prove that their English language proficiency is at an appropriate level.

There will be no visa route for lower-skilled workers based on the new developments. The government recognises that there will be shortages in the workforce, but they are willing to support the country’s local businesses. With the points-based immigration scheme, recruiters should utilise all the opportunities available right now.