On the 19th February 2020 the UK government announced new details of what it calls the ‘points based system for immigration’ which outlines parts of the UK immigration system post Brexit.1 The announcement focuses on economic migration with family migration, asylum seekers and refugees remaining unaffected. However there are hints that changes are coming across the board as they ‘remain integral to the transformation of the UK’s new immigration system’.
The immigration system detailed in this policy document is very similar to the current system for economic migration, which is also known as the ‘points based system’. In reality these systems are points based in name only and lack the flexibility of true points based immigration systems found in countries like Australia.
If the government’s plans remain the same then from 1st January 2021 this new immigration system will apply to EU and non-EU migrants.
Free Movement will be replaced by this ‘points based’ system. EU migrants living in the UK who apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the cut off of June 2021 are unaffected by these changes.
Much of this policy is based on recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee published in January 2020.2
An immigration bill will be introduced soon following this announcement but it is unclear whether these changes will be enacted through that bill or through secondary legislation.
Highly Skilled Workers
The existing Global Talent route will be opened to EU citizens, which allows highly skilled workers such as scientists and researchers who can acquire the required level of points to work in the UK. They can also enter without a job offer if endorsed by a relevant body