Points-based immigration system to be implemented in 2021

On the 14/02/20 during Boris Johnson’s first reshuffled cabinet meeting, it was announced that the UK will be adopting a points-based immigration system from the 1st January 2021, which is thought to reduce the amount of low-skilled European Union (EU) migrants by 90,000 a year.

A spokesperson said:

Following discussion, cabinet agreed the implementation of a points-based immigration from 1 January 2021. The system will be simpler and fairer, and will not discriminate between countries – and will return democratic control of immigration to the British people.

The prime minister stressed that we must demonstrate that the UK is open and welcoming to talent from across the world; but the new system would end reliance on importing cheap, low-skilled labour – bringing down migration numbers overall.

More details will be released regarding the new points-based system (PBS) this week.

However, Chetal Patel, immigration expert and partner at Bates Well, believes there are still many questions left unanswered.

Ms Patel said:

What do we know so far? Not much.

We will have a points-based system and it’s likely that the government will adopt the existing framework which will assist in getting the system ready to go live on 1 January 2021. Will it be a question of ministers pulling ‘certain levers within the system’ to make it more controlled? I expect so. To a certain degree these ‘levers’ already exist in our current system.

We can expect a tougher immigration system which suggests more compliance and onerous obligations on businesses. Will smaller businesses have sufficient infrastructure to deal with this? Will we see a more heavily policed immigration system in place?

The spokesperson added that the Government has taken on board the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) advice. That the threshold for skilled migrants outside of the EU should be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600.