The government released more details about the UK points-based system
On 13 July 2020, the government set out further details on the UK’s points-based system. These new arrangements will take effect from 1 January 2021, once freedom of movement with the European Union (EU) has ended.
It will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now.
Visa application process
New immigration routes will open later this year for applications to work, live and study in the UK from 1 January 2021.
The points-based system will include a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor.
From January 2021, the job you are offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). You will also need to be able to speak English and be paid the relevant salary threshold by your sponsor. This will either be the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for your job, whichever is higher.
If you earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary. For example, if you have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.
Global talent scheme
The global talent scheme will be opened up to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. It will allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers to come to the UK without a job offer.
International students and graduates
Student visa routes will be opened up to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.
A new graduate immigration route will be available to international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021. You’ll be able to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 years if you are a PhD graduate.
Visiting the UK
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and other non-visa nationals will not require a visa to enter the UK when visiting the UK for up to 6 months.
EU citizens living in the UK
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.