Monday, April 6, 2020 | ePaper

Britain unveils points-based immigration plan

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British Lawmaker Priti Patel, the Home Secretary leaves 10 Downing Street in London, on Thursday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shook up his government on Thursday, firing and appointing ministers to key Cabinet posts. Johnson was aiming to tighten

Reuters, London  :
Britain will prioritise access for high-skilled workers from around the world in its post-Brexit, points-based immigration system, the government said on Tuesday, setting out its plans to put an end to a reliance on "cheap labour from Europe".
Concern over the impact of high levels of immigration from the European Union was one of the key drivers behind Britain's 2016 vote to leave the bloc and the government has said it plans to bring overall migration numbers down.
The new system will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and only give visas to those who have enough points. It will come into force from Jan. 1, 2021 and will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same.
For the first time in decades, the UK will have full control over who comes to this country and how our immigration system operates," the government said in a policy document setting out its plans. EU citizens will not need a visa to enter Britain as a visitor for up to six months.
The Home Office said it would follow a recommendation made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent body which advises the government, to lower the minimum general salary threshold for skilled migrants to 25,600 pounds ($33,330) a year, from 30,000 pounds.
Skilled workers will need to meet criteria including specific skills and the ability to speak English, the government said, and those applying will need to have a job offer.
There will be no specific entry route for low-skilled workers, something the government hopes will help reduce the number of migrants.
"We need to shift the focus of our economy away from reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation. Employers will need to adjust," the policy document said.
The MAC estimated the impact of the government's planned salary and skills thresholds would mean around 70% of European Economic Area citizens who have arrived in Britain since 2004 would not have been eligible for a visa.
Students will be covered by the points-based system, the government said, while there will be separate initiatives for scientists, graduates, National Health Service workers and those in the agricultural sector.
Boris Johnson's executive has shared its plans for a points-based immigration gadget that may get started subsequent 12 months.
The coverage would finish loose motion and surrounding regulations round immigration can be repealed in favour of a brand new Immigration Invoice that BoJo mentioned would introduce a "company and honest".
Executive officers mentioned the gadget would "draw in the high-skilled staff" to create a "excessive salary, excessive talent, excessive productiveness financial system".
It vowed to prioritise any individual on their abilities now not the place they got here from, including: "For too lengthy, distorted via Eu loose motion rights, the immigration gadget has been failing to satisfy the desires of the British other folks.

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