Following the end of the free movement of EU citizens, the UK has launched a new points-based system, which is designed to treat the EU and non-EU citizens alike.
The new system expands the skills threshold for skilled workers. Those looking to come to the UK to work will now need to be qualified up to A level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system.
The minimum salary threshold has been lowered from the current salary threshold of £30,000 and will be set at £25,600. The current cap on the number of people who can come on the skilled worker route and the resident labour market test will be removed.
The new system offers greater flexibility by allowing applicants to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a salary lower than the minimum salary in their field. For instance, if an applicant earns less than the required minimum salary threshold, but no less than £20,480, they may still be able to come if they can demonstrate that they
have a job offer in a shortage occupation, or that they have a PhD relevant to the job.
The new routes are likely to open from Autumn 2020, so that migrants can start to apply ahead of the system taking effect in January 2021.