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Britain’s new immigration system says no visas for low-skilled workers

LONDON: The British government has outlined a new immigration system to manage the flow of workers into the country and replace existing rules from Jan. 1 2021, when Britain will no longer be subject to European Union regulations.

Here are details of the points-based system which will be applied:


EU and non-EU workers will be assessed by the same system to determine whether they can enter the country to work. There will be no cap on the number of people who can qualify under the scheme.

The system allows workers whose salary is below a determined ‘going rate’ (1) for their occupation, or a general 25,600 pound ($33,310) minimum, to still qualify for entry if they have advanced qualifications in their field, or want to work in an industry where there is a shortage of workers.

There are three mandatory criteria (50 points total)

1. Have a job offer from an approved sponsor

2. The job offer is at the required skill level

3. Speak English

In addition to these mandatory criteria, applicants must earn enough points through three additional criteria:

1. Education level

2. How their salary compares to the going rate for the field in which they wish to work

3. Whether there is a shortage of workers in their field.

To qualify for entry, an applicant must score 70 points or more.

The government said in a policy paper that further criteria could be added as the system develops, such as age or experience.

(1) The ‘going rate’ is an occupation-specific salary threshold. The government’s Migration Advisory Committee has recommended this is set at the 25th percentile of the full-time annual earnings distribution for that occupation. Some industries will use different measures.

(2) £25,600 is the general salary threshold

(3) Shortage occupations will be determined by the Migration Advisory Committee.

(4) Science, technology, engineering and mathematics

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