The UK immigration laws are going to change in 2021. The new immigration laws are applicable for both the EU and non-EU citizens. They have to abide by the same rules and regulations.
The UK has introduced a point-based immigration system from 1st January 2021.
The director of citizenship and immigration at Sable International in London, John Dunn, claims that the new immigration rules will change the UK’s current immigration routes.
Present routes like the new entrants, Tier 1, student, Tier 2, and bespoke visa groups are all eliminated and replaced by points-based criteria.
As per the new points-based immigration system, applicants will qualify for a visa only if their score is a minimum of 70 points.
How the new points-based immigration system works
Let us discuss how the new immigration system will work for the EU and the non-EU students.
Skilled workers’ eligibility criteria
The present Tier 2 visa route is no longer applicable from January 2021. The skilled work visa category will apply to EU and non-EU nationals.
One interesting point to note here is that the new category applies to a more extensive section of jobs than Tier 2 wishes. It is mainly because the new route will be open to Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 3 (A-Level) jobs. It is entirely more significant than that of the jobs earlier eligible at RQF level 6 (degree level).
As per the new rules, there are no limitations on the number of individuals entering the UK. Plus, the resident labor market exam is abolished henceforth.
Individuals will get points as per their skills, salary, qualification, and occupation. Those who will get sufficient points will qualify for the visas.
Applicants need to score a minimum of 70 points to work in the UK.
Breakdown of points
English language capability – 10 points
A confirmed job offer – 20 points
An offer based on the appropriate skill level – 20 points
If the candidates are interested in getting the remaining 20 points, they have to grab a job offer with the salary of £20,480, especially in the education and health sectors. The new rules have created a complicated situation where individuals need to have a high salary for high paying jobs.
The new immigration laws have specified that individuals can use their basic gross salary to meet the salary threshold.
What is the basic gross salary?
It is the salary before insurance, pension, and income tax deductions are made.
Please note: individuals cannot include allowances and benefits like the cost of living or house rent benefits.
Existing Tier 2 sponsors do not have to apply for a new license. They will get a sponsor license automatically. They will be a part of the new system without doing anything. However, we have to meet the eligibility criteria for the new routes.
Individuals can switch over to the skilled worker route from other visa categories without going out of the UK.
Best researchers and scientists will get a fast-track visa. They can enter the UK without any job offer.
The global talent scheme replaces the Tier 1 route. Furthermore, candidates will be endorsed by UKRI straight away.
There is a new priority service where entrepreneurs can pay an extra fee of £500 to shorten the sponsor license’s waiting time. Usually, the waiting period is two months. However, after spending the amount, entrepreneurs can get the sponsor license within five working days.
Student visa rules
The UK earned £20 billion in 2019 from the education sector alone. After the restrictions imposed on the EU’s movement, the country is likely to encourage loss in this sector due to a decline in the number of international students studying in the country.
After realizing this fact, the UK has come up with new student visa routes for international students. They hope that international students will like the new student visa route and come to UK universities.
Students can study for six months at accredited institutions with a visitor visa. As far as recreational courses are concerned, students can study these courses in any institution for 30 days.
The new UK student visa routes are effective from October 2020 for long studies. The routes are points-based. Students can earn the required points by getting admission to a credible and approved educational institution. They have to prove their English language capability and financial stability throughout their studies.
Postgraduate students can stay in the UK for another two years after finishing their studies. Ph.D. students can remain in the UK for an extra three years. Furthermore, the option to switch over to work routes will help individuals in finding a proper job.
New eligibility criteria
The UK government has always given a prime focus on reasonable character requirements. The new immigration laws have specified particular thresholds that will help immigrants to abide by them.
As per the new rule, if any candidate has committed a criminal offense in the UK or any other country and the court asked him to stay in jail for one year or may be more than that, he will not get a visa.
Candidates with fake marriages and those guilty of evading tax at the border will not get a visa. The immigration officers have the right to deny them a visa.
Previously, only financially solvent immigrants were allowed to enter the UK. Applicants had to prove that they could support themselves financially throughout the time they lived in the UK. Otherwise, they had to show that somebody would cover their expenses. The objective of the previous rule was to check if students could sustain themselves without any government support.
The new rules are relaxed now. Students, workers, and sports persons do not have to prove anything as long as they cover their expenses for the last year. Applicants can use electronic bank statements to prove their financial strength within 31 days of submitting the applications. They need to show that students are not a burden of any country as long as they have easily accessible funds.