The government publishes initial details of its new immigration policy effective from 1 January 2021

The government has published initial details of its new immigration policy to a mixture of praise and criticism.  The changes are generally welcomed by those industries seeking greater access to skilled workers; but sectors reliant on lower skilled and paid staff, are left scratching their heads as to how to make up labour shortfalls in the future.

The key changes include:

  • The tier 2 points based system will be extended to all foreign workers including EU citizens
  • Skills threshold reduced slightly from degree to A level equivalent
  • The resident labour market test, as trailed, will be abolished and the cap on tier 2 numbers will be suspended – a development which is generally welcomed
  • Applicants must achieve 70 points to obtain entry based upon certain compulsory elements including a salary level of at least £25,600 (although this can be as low as £20,480 if other criteria are met and there is also additional scoring for shortage occupation roles)
  • Right to work checks of EU citizens will permit use of EU passports and national ID cards up to 30 June 2021
  • No specific route into UK for self-employed, low skilled or low paid foreign workers – leading to potential job shortages in certain sectors such as retail and social care

The changes will necessitate a number of practical measures, particularly employers (which don’t already have them) obtaining sponsor licenses as soon as possible and undertaking workforce planning if they are heavily reliant on low skilled EU workers.

The immigration team at Bevan Brittan would be pleased to offer advice and support on any questions you may have arising out of the government’s new policy.

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