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iWorld / News / United Kingdom

Work, Study, Brexit: Britain's new immigration system in action

January 8, 2021

5 minutes read

Submission of visa applications for workers to enter the UK has been open since January 1. Starting in early 2021, residents of European Union (EU) countries will be applied the same requirements as citizens of other states.

Why have the immigration rules changed?

When the United Kingdom was a member of the EU, people from EU countries were automatically eligible to work in the UK. Controlling the immigration process was one of the key themes of the Leave campaign raised in the 2016 referendum. The new work visa system will be points-based.

How will points be awarded?

To apply for a visa, migrant workers who want to move to the UK must score 70 points. If you receive an offer for an open job from an approved employer, you will score 40 points. Being able to speak English will give you another 10 points. The candidate can get the remaining 20 points if their salary is at least £25600 per year.

Nuances of the point system

You can also get extra points for being qualified in certain fields (10 points for a PhD or 20 points for an engineering or math degree), or for doing an activity that is particularly relevant to the UK (20 points), even if that job is not highly paid.

Some jobs in health care or education are also worth 20 points, even if the salary is less than £25,600. The candidate must be paid at least £20480 according to the established amounts for specific jobs in all four countries of the UK.

How do I apply for a job in the UK?

Applications can be submitted online, but some candidates will need to visit a visa center for identification and verification of required documentation. Documentation required may include a certificate of sponsorship from a prospective British employer as well as proof of English language skills.

How much will it cost?

The cost of applying will depend on how long the applicant has been working in the UK, and whether the applicant is in professions that are particularly in need in the UK - for example, veterinarians and web designers.

If the applicant does not have scarce skills, the standard fee for them will be between £610 and £1,408. Jobseekers will also have to pay an additional medical fee of £624 per person per year on application - this money will be refunded if the applicant does not get a visa. In addition, applicants will have to show that they have the means to live in the UK, i.e. a sum of at least £1,270.

Visa situation for medics

There is a fast track entry system for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Such individuals will pay reduced fees and will be supported through the application process. Migrants who successfully apply will be exempt from paying the immigration medical fee. Applicants who choose this route must still meet certain skill levels and salary thresholds.

Is it possible to come to the UK for studying?

The number of international students who can come to the UK for studying will not be limited. The new student visa application system allows them to apply six months in advance if they are applying outside the UK.

The new postgraduate visa will begin in the summer of 2021 to allow postgraduate students to remain in the U.K. for two years. For those who have obtained a PhD, the period will increase to three years.

Does every immigrant need a visa?

A citizen of the EU who has lived in the UK until the end of 2020 can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. This category of migrants has until June 30, 2021 to settle their status.

There are also additional migration options for some workers - for example, there is the Global Talent and Innovator and Start-Up Visa. According to the British government, such a measure should attract "those with special talents or who show exceptional talent in engineering, science, technology or culture.

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