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(20 February 2020) - EU nationals without a well-paid job offer and sufficient qualifications will be unable to work in the UK in the future, according to a tough new ‘points-based’ immigration system that will come into force at the end of 2020.

UK
© Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

The new rules make it easier for non-EU migrants to get a working visa in the UK, but mark a significant tightening for EU nationals.

New immigration routes will open from autumn 2020 for applications to work, live and study in the UK from 1 January 2021. The scheme will not affect Irish citizens, who will continue to have access to the UK under the Common Travel Area.

Migrants wishing to live and work in the UK will need to have a job offer paying a salary of at least £25,600. They will also be required to be educated to A level standard (which UK students obtain aged 18) and to speak English.

Potential migrants to the UK will have to score 70 points on the new system in order to qualify for a visa. They would not be able to access welfare benefits until receiving ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK, a process which takes five years.

The wage requirement can fall to £20,480, but only if applicants can demonstrate additional qualifications or are applying for so-called ‘shortage occupation’ posts, which include jobs like nurses, teachers, doctors, engineers, chefs, IT technicians and artists. (EurActiv)

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