New points based immigration system…

The government have unveiled there new plans in regards to skilled workers. The plan is to implement a points based system.

Free movement ends on 31st December 2020, therefore all migrants are to be treated equally. The plans mean that there is to be no route for low skilled workers unless deemed a shortage.

It seems the Home Office are encouraging employers to invest in automation technology rather than cheap labour. Businesses have been reliant on low skilled workers from the EU to fill positions. However, by investing in staff retention, productivity and automation, businesses can move away from reliance on the immigration system.

Points based system

The UK are to introduce a points based system where migrants need to meet 70 points to work. Here is a breakdown of the points:

Approved job offerNo20
Skilled jobNo20
Speaks EnglishNo10
Salary £20,480-£23,039Yes0
Salary £23,040-£25,599Yes10
Salary £26,600 or overYes20
Job ShortageYes20
Education to PhD levelYes10
Education to PhD level in STEM subjectYes20

If you have been offered a skilled job by an approved sponsor that is over £26,600 and you are able to speak English then you have met the 70 point mark.

An example of skilled shortages would be nursing. A nurse may earn £22,000 per year, but be from an approved sponsor (the NHS), be a skilled job, in an area of shortage and can speak English. Therefore the nurse would meet the 70 points required.


The plans redefine a number of other elements including what constitutes skilled work. They are lowering the standards to meet skilled workers from graduate to A-level level standard qualifications.

There are no longer to be caps on the number of skilled workers.

What constitutes skilled work?

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been tasked with outlining what are skilled jobs and reviewing shortages.

There is no route for low skilled workers. The classification of higher skilled workers and lower skilled workers is to change. MAC is to classify jobs such as carpentry, plastering and childminding as skilled and demote jobs such a waiting tables.

What is happening regarding salaries?

The minimum salary requirement is £20,480 but the larger the salary the easier to meet the requirements. This is important as it helps those lower paid professions continue to attract foreign talent. However, the higher tier has been lowered to £25,600, which means more people qualify.

What about benefits?

All migrants that gain indefinite leave to remain, usually after 5 years, qualify for income related benefits. So, EU migrants no longer have access to benefits prior.

Are students covered by the points based system?

Yes they are. Students need to prove that they have had an offer from an appropriate educational institution, speak English and can support their stay financially.

What about family visas and asylum?

The previous rules cover these areas. Further the innovator visa route covering those with business aspirations remains open.

If you would like more information about the new immigration system then get in touch below.

    Or you can contact the immigration team by calling us on 0207 242 1666 or email us.