United Kingdom’s New Points-based immigration system

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What is a points-based immigration system?

Under a points-based immigration system points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.

The new UK’s Points-Based System

The new UK point-based system is a new visa category for skilled workers from the EU and non-EU countries which will take effect from 1st January 2021.

It will open the UK to the brightest and the best skills from around the world and will end free movement, reassert control of the UK borders, restore public trust and will enable the government to deliver a single global immigration system based on people’s skills.

It will attract high skilled workers who will contribute to the economy, the communities and the public services and will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements for skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK through an employer-led system.

What is the present UK Point based system?

Currently, if you are from within the EU you do not need a visa to work in the UK because you benefit from freedom of movement.

If you are from outside the EU, there is already a system in place based on points. These points are already awarded for having English language skills, being sponsored by a company and meeting a salary threshold.

There are four tiers of visa assessed on points:

  • Temporary workers (Tier 5), for example people coming to do seasonal work on farms or in a theatre production or on a charity project or creative and sporting visa.
  • Students (Tier 4) for example general work visa, intra company transfer and minister of religion.
  • Skilled workers (Tier 2)
  • High-value migrants (Tier 1) for example people with “exceptional talent” or major investors

The New Point based system

With the new point-based system, all applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak English. To be eligible to apply to come to the UK under this new route, an applicant will be required to secure 70 points.

Features of the New Point Based System

  • You must have a job offer by an approved sponsor
  • The job must be at the appropriate skill level
  • You must be able to speak English at the required level
  • Your salary must be £25,600 or above

You must have a job offer by an approved sponsor

You must have a job offer from an approved sponsor; this will earn you 20 points. An approved sponsor is a UK employer that has the right to hire migrant workers and issue sponsor license.

Highly skilled workers, such as scientists, technology or maths professionals, would be qualified without a job offer, so long as they are endorsed by a relevant and competent body.

The job must be at the appropriate skill level

Under the current system, a skilled worker from outside the EU must be employed at a minimum of a degree level job. However, with the new point-based system, this threshold is being lowered to jobs requiring A-levels or equivalent.

The skill threshold is now RQF3 which is equivalent to A level. Therefore, if you are a low-skilled worker, you will not be qualified for the new point-based system.

There is no longer a limit on the number of people who can come on the skilled worker route as we have in the present point-based system. Also, the resident labour market test will be removed.

This will ensure that a wide pool of skilled workers will be able to come to the UK from anywhere in the world and the process will be made simpler and quicker for employers. You will earn 20 points if you meet this requirement.

You must be able to speak English

You must demonstrate that you can speak English, this will earn you 10 points.

You must meet the salary threshold for skilled worker

The new salary threshold is £25,600, this is a change from the current salary threshold of £30,000.

However, where the salary been offered to an applicant is less than £25,600 but not below £20,480 the applicant would still be able to meet the salary threshold requirement if the job offers falls under the shortage occupation list or the applicant has a PhD relevant to the job. You will earn 20 points once you meet this requirement.


As a student you will be covered by the new points-based system. You will achieve the required points if you can demonstrate that you have an offer from an approved educational institution, you can speak English and you are able to support yourself during your studies in the UK.

To determine your eligibility or progress your application – book a consultation with us now.

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