After the UK’s exit and following the Implementation Period, United Kingdom will end the current free movement system imposed by the EU so that the UK Immigration Rules will apply to EU and non-EU migrants alike in a single skills-based system, as opposed to being based on where an individual comes from. Under the new immigration system anyone who wants to relocate to the UK will need permission to do so, as opposed to being based on where an individual comes from.
Mobility for EU & Non-EU Citizens
Under the future system following the Implementation Period, those coming to the UK, including EU citizens, who intend to work or study or join family will need permission to do so, normally in the form of an electronic status which must be obtained before coming to the UK. This means everyone coming the UK will have an individual immigration status which will form the basis of UK immigration controls. This status will be communicated to airlines to confirm whether an individual has permission to travel, checked at the UK border (by either a Border Force officer or an e-gate), and then form the basis of in-country immigration checks.
Home Office do not intend to require visitors who are citizens of current EU Member States to obtain a visit visa in advance of travel and the intention is to allow them to continue to use e-gates to make entry to the UK quick and easy. Tourists will continue to enjoy a generous entitlement to spend up to six months in the UK. Visitors coming to the UK for short-term business reasons will be able, as now, to carry out a wide range of activities, including permitted paid engagements. Home Office will discuss with stakeholders whether these arrangements can be improved to reflect business need.
Students will generally need to obtain permission before they travel to the UK, with the exception of non-visa nationals who can be granted entry as a short-term student for a course up to six months without permission to travel – as is currently the case. In future, once introduced, non-visa national short-term students will require an Electronic Travel Authorisation to enter the UK.
International students who have completed a degree and who want to stay on in the UK to work after they have completed their studies, will benefit from six months’ post-study leave to all master’s students, and bachelor’s students studying at an institution with degree awarding powers – giving them more time to find permanent skilled work and to work temporarily during that period. Those who have completed a PhD will have a year to seek employment in the UK.
Also, Home Office will allow for students studying at bachelor’s level or above to be able to apply to switch into the skilled workers route up to three months before the end of their course in the UK, and from outside of the UK for up to two years after their graduation.
Employers of skilled migrants (Tier 2 Visa) will not need to carry out a resident labour market test as a condition of sponsoring a worker.
The new system will need to be accessible to the large number of businesses, particularly smaller enterprises, that have previously been able to hire migrant labour from the EU, without needing to engage with the existing sponsorship requirements. Therefore, Home Office will need to make the system as straightforward and light touch as possible, and low cost to employers.
The new skilled route will include workers with intermediate level skills, at RQF 3-5 level (A level or equivalent) as well as graduate and post-graduate, also the minimum salary threshold at £30,000 will be reviewed and authorities will engage businesses and employers as to what salary threshold should be set.
Home Office recognise the challenges faced by these employers, particularly in sectors like construction and social care, who would find it difficult immediately to adapt. Temporary short-term worker route will allow people to come for a maximum of 12 months, with a cooling-off period of a further 12 months to prevent people effectively working in the UK permanently. This route will be implemented in due course.
Home Office will implement further changes on business visas for non-EU citizens including Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas, implementation of Start up Visa in spring 2019.
You can read the 168-page white paper document here.
We will keep you informed of any further changes in UK Immigration Law in due course.
Mann’s Solutions has expertise in offering UK Immigration services and legal support to individuals and corporate companies, our specialists provide an advice on UK visas including Tier 1, Tier 2 and other categories, including permanent residence and settlement status in the United Kingdom.