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Britain’s New Points-Based Immigration System: What to Expect?

The British government has recently published its latest guidelines on the new immigration system, which will come into force on January 1, 2021 after the transition period in the UK-EU relations has ended.

While the transition is underway, EU citizens have an opportunity to move to the UK under the current simplified immigration rules. Once the new legislation has come into effect, freedom of movement will remain for citizens of EU countries, the European Economic Area and Switzerland. They will be able to come to the UK visa-free and spend no more than six months in one visit in the UK. However, should EU citizens wish to work or study in the UK, they will have to obtain a relevant UK visa.

One of the major changes to the current immigration system of the UK is the implementation of a “point-based system”. This means that such factors as language proficiency, qualification and work skills will be taken into account by the Home Office when considering granting visas to foreigners who wish to work in the UK. To be eligible to apply for a visa, applicants will need to gain 70 points overall. 50 points are obligatory and are awarded for having a job offer from “an approved employer” at an “appropriate skill level” and being able to speak English. One of the easiest routes to gain the rest of the required points is by securing a job offer with an annual salary of at least £25,600. Applicants may also gain extra points for having a PhD degree or being offered a job in which Britain has a shortage (in this case meeting the minimum salary threshold is not necessary).

As far as the visa application procedure is concerned, it will be simplified for the EU citizens. There will be no requirement to submit biometric data such as fingerprints, and it will be allowed to provide photos taken on a smartphone when applying for a visa. Third-country citizens will still need to obtain visas under the new immigration system by visiting visa centres in their countries of residence and by providing their biometrics data.

Despite Brexit-related uncertainty, the UK remains one of the top most attractive global immigration destinations. Once of the easiest programs for foreign HNWI wishing to emigrate to the UK remains the UK Investor visa, however the number of applicants for this immigration program keeps on dropping year by year, which is likely to be attributed to the decision of the UK to leave the EU.

Should you have any questions regarding the UK relocation possibilities, contact us at GLS Private Office. We will be glad to provide you with all the required assistance.

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