While there seems to be much uncertainty regarding the visa programme to replace the current one after Brexit owing to the Parliament’s disagreement, the UK government has embarked on seeking views on the future immigration system of the country.
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, has informed the public that the government is engaging both locally and internationally in order to have the opinions of stakeholders for the overall best immigration system to adopt.
The views from business, education, voluntary, public and even private sectors across the country and abroad will influence the proposed skilled-based immigration system which is set to be a replacement to the current free movement, he said.
He also said that the proposed system would be in line with the UK’s Industrial Strategy which is targeted at having a workforce that is innovative, skilled based and highly productive.
“This aims at gathering specific detailed ideas before the agreement on the final policy is reached, so as to foster an Immigration system which will serve the country’s interest, provide a positive environment for Migrants and also contribute positively to the nation’s economy,” he said.
The new immigration system is planned to be introduced in a phased approach beginning from January 2021, unless the postponement of Brexit takes longer.
The new Immigration system, as announced by the government, will be skilled-based, preferring talents and experiences to Nationality. It will ensure that skills and talents all around the world are accessible to employers, as well as, providing that the net migration is at sustainable levels.
Removal of Annual Cap
As recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), there’s a plan to remove caps on the number of work visas issued, broaden the threshold of skills to accommodate persons with equivalent qualifications of A level, and also stop labor market tests by employers in a bid to sponsor a worker.
This will be the biggest change witnessed in the UK’s Immigration system, aiming to lure the best and smartest immigrants to the country.
A new route is likely to be made for skilled-workers at any level temporarily. This is to ensure that all businesses acquire their needed staff while training youths at the same time.
The labor market will be accessible to those with a 12-months visa, but there will be no benefits. With this visa route, family members are not permitted to come along, no settling rights in the country, but the visa bearer is entitled to a cooling off period of 12 months.
With the proposals from the white paper, genuine international students will not be limited by number barrier. However, it will extend the post-study period to 6 months for Bachelor’s or Masters and 12 months for a Ph.D.
Border Security checks will be reinforced with new measures. As such, the use of national ID cards rather than passports by EU citizens for traveling will end as this is extremely insecure and abusive.
An Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme will be introduced to get the data of those individuals (EU citizens, UK citizens, Australians, Canadians, Americans, South Koreans, Japanese, New Zealand, and Singapore citizens) who don’t require a visa to travel to the UK. This will enable them to use the E-gates on arrival to the country.
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