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The Migrant Advisory Committee (MAC) has released a comprehensive opinion on the UK’s position on migration. This report was following a request in June 2019 from Sajid Javid, the then Home Secretary, for research into the current state of the UK immigration system. There were a number of key points which MAC has recommended in relation to how UK immigration policy may be developed now that the UK has left the EU. It reflects upon Boris Johnston’s election promise of an ‘Australian Points Based System’ and was somewhat critical of the UK’s current system for non-EU migrants.
The UK’s tiered system for non-EU migrants is limited to a minimum salary threshold or for ‘exceptional talent’ applicants. Tier 2 (General) skilled visas are currently only available to migrants with a salary over £30,000 per annum. MAC have outlined a number of recommendations to the Home Office:
Furthermore, MAC’s report was critical of the Conservative Party’s pledge to introduce a new Points Based System (PBS) for Tier 2 visas moving forward. MAC called such a proposal a ‘sound bite’ pointing out that no one size fits all solution is available for immigration policy. MAC recommended that the Tier 2 (General) route should remain mainly unchanged. However it considered that if the government are set on delivering their promise of the ‘Australia style’ system that the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route could be altered to cater for highly skilled migrants without a formal job offer in the UK.
Tier 1 (General) Exceptional Talent Visas are only issued to a maximum of 2,000 individuals per year and these individuals are not required to meet a minimum salary level. MAC made a number of recommendations on how this route could be streamlined, including:
A new ‘Global Talent visa is to be introduced from 22 February 2020 to replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. Some of the changes under this regime will include;
The indication we have is that the remainder of the future skills based immigration system will be rolled out after the transitional period following Brexit – likely not until early 2021.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Immigration is a complex area of law for both corporates and individuals. Please contact the Business Immigration team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.