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Comments by Sanwar Ali:
There are few surprises in the announcement today about the new UK visa points system. It seems that, as expected, the new UK visa system will be unable to deal with post-Brexit skills shortage.
The Government insists that free movement for EU/EEA citizens will end come 1 January 2021. Probably in less than six months you are not going to be able to find and train suitable people to fill all the unfilled positions, that you are no longer able to fill with newly arriving EU migrants. In addition, can employers actually afford to pay huge Government fees to employ overseas workers?
In reality many questions remain unanswered. How will points be awarded based on experience say instead of having a degree? It is also claimed that this will be a new “Australian style points system”. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an “independent body” that the Government seeks advice from even reminded the Government that there has been a points system originally introduce by a Labour Government since 2008.
The Government claims that they will reduce levels of immigration as well. Perhaps that is the purpose of the new points system. Conservative Governments have repeatedly failed to reduce levels of immigration since David Cameron’s ridiculous pledge of more than ten years ago to reduce levels of net migration to the tens of thousands a year.
Many questions remain unanswered. It seems that the complicated, expensive and bureaucratic UK visa system will remain. Probably one of the most complex and expensive visa systems in the World will continue. Something similar to the current Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 visa system it seems will remain. To bring a family of four into the UK under the current system can cost about £20,000.
UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has revealed more details about the UK’s post-Brexit visa and immigration system on Monday 13 July 2020. It’s understood that she will declare Britain ‘open for business’ to the ‘brightest global talent’ when unveiling more details about the system that’s set to come into effect on 1 January 2021.
The new system has been designed to deter so-called, low-skilled immigration while making it easier for highly skilled migrants to secure a visa to come to the UK. However, the controversial bill has come under fire amid the coronavirus, with many so-called low-skilled workers serving on the frontline to keep Britain moving.
Under the new rules, which will end the free movement of EU migrants in the UK, visa applicants will need to score a minimum of 70 points to be eligible for entry into Britain to live and work.
UK visa points-based system
Despite the Home Office already operating a points-based system under the Tier 2 visa category, the government has taken to calling it’s post-Brexit immigration legislation a ‘new points-based system’, which has been modelled on the immigration system in Australia.
UK visa applicants will be awarded points based on their level of English, having a job offer from an employer and meeting minimum salary threshold requirements.
UK health and care visa
As part of her update on the UK’s post-Brexit visa and immigration system, the Home Secretary is expected to announce the introduction of a ‘health and care visa’. This special visa will be available to migrant NHS workers and ‘senior-level’ care personnel.
Meanwhile, international Tier 4 visa students are expected to be given an additional two years to remain in the UK, or three years if they graduate from a UK university with a PhD, after completing their studies.
Ahead of an expected announcement on Monday 13 July, Patel said: “The British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system.”
Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from 1 January 2021. Britain is open for business and ready to welcome the best and brightest global talent,” Patel added.
Labour will scrutinise visa rules
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, said: “The Government has rushed through immigration legislation with very little detail in the middle of a global pandemic.”
“There are real concerns that this will cause major problems for our NHS and our care sector, at a time when we are still waiting for the government to make good on their promise to scrap the unfair immigration health surcharge for workers who were being charged to access the very services they were keeping going to help others during the toughest of times,” Thomas-Symonds added.
Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy, said that she was ‘heartbroken’ over the end to freedom of movement from the EU.
£705 million UK border plan
The government has insisted that it will seize control of Britain’s borders at the end of the year, regardless of the outcome of Brexit. Boris Johnson has committed to investing £705 million in the infrastructure of UK border control.
Investment in new border controls will include jobs and technology, with an estimated £470 million to ploughed into new border control posts and a further £235 million reserved for IT systems.
Speaking ahead of the Home Secretary’s announcement, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, who is coordinating the UK’s Brexit strategy, said Britain will be prepared for a ‘no deal’.
Gove said: “We are taking back control of our borders, and leaving the single market and the customs union at the end of this year bringing both changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare. That is why we are announcing this major package of investment today.”
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