How will UK’s new points-based immigration system work?

After leaving the EU, UK is now in a transition period until Dec. 31 with some rules and regulations to be extended until July of 2021. The UK government has followed the Migration Advisory Committee’s report to roll out plans for a post-Brexit immigration system where EEA and non-EEA citizens will be treated equally.

The new points-based scheme will require that an applicant collect at least 70 points from a number of factors including a job offer by an approved sponsor, having a salary of at least £25,600, speaking English at a required level, securing a job in a shortage occupation or a PhD in a subject related to the job. Applicants with a PhD in the Engineering and Science fields get double points in this category.

Under the new scheme, prospective new applicants can achieve 50 points from the three factors of language, job offer and approved sponsor. The remaining 20 points can be gained from reaching an approved salary level, the job is in a shortage occupation or the applicants has earned a PhD. The new scheme seems similar to the discontinued old scheme “Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.”

The changes look likely to benefit applicants from New Zealand, Canada and Australia who will reach the 70 points threshold assuming they have a job offer by virtue of speaking English and earning over £25,600.

There is also talk of a broader route to allow a smaller number of the most highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer.

The Government’s announcement makes no mention of the current Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme), which allows for living and working in the UK for two years, but one can surmise that if this remains in place, visa holders would be able to secure a role and transition to the new scheme to remain longer than two years.

There’s just enough uncertainty in the announcement to ensure there will be plenty of inconsistencies and unintended consequences, and while it’s hard to believe the implementation of regulation in the post-Brexit UK could be anything less than comprehensively thought-through, we live in interesting times.

The government’s announcement makes no mention of where the UK will find “low-skilled” workers in hospitality, transportation or agriculture, but for the time being prospects of remaining in the UK longer look a little brighter for new applications at least.

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About the Author

Mohamed Aboshanab
Mohamed Aboshanab

Mohamed Aboshanab is a U.K. immigration lawyer. He currently serves as a director at Newborder Global Advisors, an immigration advisory firm with offices in the U.K., Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Specializing in business immigration and corporate mobility management, Aboshanab assists individual and institutional clients in investment, company formation and licensing, as well as the establishment and restructuring of legal entities across Europe and Africa. He maintains an expansive network of relationships with professionals and government authorities to advise clients on compliance with immigration regulations of various jurisdictions. At Newborder, Aboshanab manages the performance, workflow, productivity, communication, compliance and risk control of the company’s team. He also spearheads the company’s effort in market expansion.

Prior to joining Newborder, Aboshanab worked as a business development manager at Global Beam based in Cairo, Egypt. In this role, he monitored compliance of the company and provided investment and immigration advisory services to local and international businesses. He also worked as an international lawyer at Arden Solicitors Advocates in London, where he primarily handled immigration and asylum cases.

Aboshanab is a registered foreign lawyer by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of the U.K., and is licensed to practice law in Egypt. He is also a certified immigration adviser regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioners in the U.K.

Aboshanab obtained his bachelor’s degree in law from Ain Shams University in Egypt. He also holds a level 3 certificate in law and practice by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in the U.K.

Aboshanab speaks Arabic and English.

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