Published: Fri, February 21, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Kingdom introduces point-based visa system

United Kingdom introduces point-based visa system

Britain's government on Wednesday faced a backlash over its new post-Brexit immigration plans, which are created to cut "cheap Labour from Europe" in favour of high-skilled English speakers.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, centre right, after a reshuffle the day before, inside 10 Downing Street, in London, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. "For business, it's essential that the system retains flexibility for employers, particularly those bringing in highly-skilled workers on short-term assignments". Many seasonal farmworkers, for instance, come from the EU.

But the government said it would not introduce a route for lower-skilled workers, urging businesses to "adapt and adjust" to the end of free movement between European Union countries and the UK. The majority of people employed by the sector are low-paid care workers.

Many economists say there is little evidence that's true.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said: "The government's blueprint for trade will require a massive boost to the veterinary workforce to deliver veterinary certification not only for exports but, as announced last week, also for imports". He suggested these actually showed "relatively modest" increases compared to the middle of the decade, and that the number of European Union nationals in employment had hovered around the 2.3 million mark for the past two to three years.

What are the new rules?

Among other things, visa applicants must be skilled, speak English and already have a job offer that will pay them a minimum of £25,600 (about $33,175) - although "a salary floor" of £20,480 ($26,540) will be acceptable in special cases where labor shortages exist.

Highly skilled persons with a background in STEM subjects, and who are endorsed by a relevant and competent body, will be able to enter the United Kingdom without a job offer.

The new rules don't cover refugees or asylum-seekers, and there will be separate routes for students andhighly talentedscientists, artists and athletes.

A UK Homecare Association spokesperson called the plans "irresponsible" and said that cutting off the supply of prospective care workers - most of whom would not meet the points threshold - would "pave the way for more people waiting unnecessarily in hospital or going without care". According to a list by the Migration Advisory Committee there is a shortage of civil engineers, medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, and classical ballet dancers.

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Many migrants from eastern Europe have jobs picking Britain's fruit and vegetables and working in food-processing factories.

The government's proposal for a points-based immigration policy has provoked fears over its potential impact on social care and community security.

He said automation could help some, but not in the short term. Business must be given time to adapt. "You're talking 10 years' out, probably".

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: "The approach being taken by the Government to migration post Brexit will put significant pressures on the social care system". Mark Harrison, policy manager at the Food and Drink Federation, urged the Conservative government to open up an immigration route for entry-level workers.

The job must be at the appropriate skills level.

Reportedly, there will be no specific route for low-skilled workers under the new system.

The government appears unmoved by their concerns.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the country hopes to welcome skilled, talented people.

"I am convinced that a tangible decline in people's quality of life thanks to rapid and ill-thought-through immigration levels led to the Brexit vote", Mr Farage wrote. The government claims that overall numbers will indeed fall - and it might be right - but it's far from certain.

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