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A Summary of the Home Office Policy Statement introducing its Points Based System

The Home Office today published a Policy Statement introducing its Points Based System (PBS).  This is the first phase of a multi-year programme of change which will later include improvements to the sponsorship system and the introduction of Electronic Travel Authorities to ensure those coming to the UK have permission to do so in advance of travel.

The Points Based System will come into effect on 1 Jan 2021, replacing free movement and catering for the most highly skilled workers, skilled workers, students and a range of other specialist work routes including global leaders and innovators.  There will be no general low skilled or temporary worker routes but initiatives are being brought forward for scientists, graduates, NHS workers and those in the agricultural sector, to assist businesses in the shorter term. 

Key points for Skilled Workers:

  • general salary threshold lowered to £25,600 (specific ‘going rate’ limit still applies if higher)
  • no regional salary thresholds or arrangements
  • skills threshold lowered
  • skilled worker route cap removed
  • all skilled workers to have a job offer at the appropriate level and be able to speak English
  • other requirements are trade-able
  • Migration Advisory Committee to prepare shortage occupation list, allocating extra points
  • reduced salary requirements for new entrants to the labour market

Key points for Highly Skilled Workers:

  • Global Talent route to be extended to EU citizens: the most highly skilled can enter the UK without a job offer if they are endorsed by a relevant and competent body
  • new unsponsored route (probably capped) for a small number of the most highly skilled, to be added to the PBS to run alongside the employer led system

Students and Specialist Workers:

  • students will be covered by the PBS
  • existing ‘Tier 5’ specialist routes to be opened to EU nationals                                    

The Home Office “will not introduce a general low-skilled or temporary work route… Employers will need to adjust.”  Yesterday, the Seasonal Workers Pilot was expanded to quadruple the number of temporary workers to 10,000 for 2020, to support UK growers whilst continuing to test the scheme see here 

More details will follow with the Immigration bill due next month.

Check out our next PBS course here 

21st February 2020

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