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Home Secretary announces new UK points-based immigration system

Home Secretary Priti Patel will today (Wednesday 19 February) launch a new points-based immigration system which will open up the UK to the brightest and the best from around the world.

The new system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, will end free movement, reassert control of our borders and restore public trust.

It will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and visas will only be awarded to those who gain enough points.

The government has listened to the clear message from the 2016 referendum and the 2019 General Election and will end the reliance on cheap, low-skilled labour coming into the country.

Overall levels of migration will be reduced, with tighter security and a better experience for those coming to the UK.

The new single global system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally. It will give top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, engineers and academics.

The global talent scheme will also be opened up to EU citizens which will allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers to come to the UK without a job offer.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Today is a historic moment for the whole country.

We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down.

We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential.

The points threshold will be carefully set to attract the talent the UK needs. Skilled workers will need to meet a number of relevant criteria, including specific skills and the ability to speak English, to be able to work in the UK. All applicants will be required to have a job offer and, in line with the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations, the minimum salary threshold will be set at £25,600.

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