UK Points-Based Immigration System

British passport and map of Europe

Following the full exit of the UK from the EU the free movement of people ended on 1 January 2021. In order to manage the new arrangement effectively, the UK introduced a points-based immigration system. In the new system, both the EU and non-EU citizens receive equal treatment concerning people wishing to enter the country for employment. Employers who wish to hire from outside the UK – this excludes Irish citizens – need to apply and obtain a relevant permit in advance.

As a result, in the new points-based immigration system, those who would like to come to the UK for work must score a number of points on their application in order to obtain a visa. The allocation of these points will be on key ‘characteristics’ such as language proficiency, salary level and education. It is worth noting that applicants can receive extra points from having better qualifications like a commendable PhD in a specific field of science or technology or for a role in which the UK has a shortage. 

Noticeably, there are conditions that apply for EU citizens already living in the UK by the end of 2020. The new system incorporates various routes that allow flexibility and wider options for both employers and applicants who wish to come to UK for work. Similarly, along with other criteria the process sets for applicable salary thresholds that foreign workers should be paid by their sponsor (employer). Finally, the UK immigration system will continue to accept the identity cards currently used by EU citizens – until January 2026. 

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