New points-based UK immigration system

by | 5 Mar 2020

New Points-Based UK Immigration System

The Government has unveiled details of its plans for immigration reforms which will introduce a new points-based immigration system from 1st January 2021. This means all EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally aiming to reduce migration and catering for those with the highest skills and greatest talents (Scientist, engineers, academics and other highly skilled workers).


Eligibility – A total of 70 points across a number of characteristics will be required to be eligible as a skilled worker. Flexibility in how the points are calculated is to be introduced where some characteristics can be tradable.

Please see below a diagram of how this will work which has been extracted from ‘Policy paper -The UK’s points-based immigration system: policy statement – Published 19 February 2020’

Table showing the points based system

Salary Threshold – the salary threshold for skilled workers wanting to come to the UK will be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. A further reduction in salary threshold will be introduced for applicants applying in one of the shortage occupation roles for which the salary threshold will be £20,480.

Skills threshold – this is currently at Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 6 but will be reduced to RQF Level 3. The levels in the RQF indicate the difficulty and complexity of the knowledge and skills associated with a qualification which is regulated by Ofqual.

Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship – The current cap on the numbers of people who can come under this route will be suspended and the requirement of the resident labour market test will also be removed.

Global Talent route – this route replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. Read our article for more information on the Global Talent Visa.

Creation of the Unsponsored route – this will allow a small number of people to come to the UK without a job offer but will only be available for the most highly skilled workers. Initially this route will be monitored closely and there will be a cap on the number of people who can come under this route.

Sponsor License requirement – Employers that are not currently approved by the Home Office to sponsor employees requiring permission to work in the UK will need to consider doing so should they wish to sponsor skilled migrants (including EU nationals).

Should you have any questions regarding how this latest immigration news will affect your business, contact our Immigration team of specialists today.

To review the full policy published by the Home Office please visit:

Contact us for help with any issue raised in this article on +44 (0)20 3151 6794 or email


Global Talent Visa

Global Talent Visa

The new, fast-track visa for international scientists, researchers and mathematicians.

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