The UK government is set to introduce immigration reforms that will include a lower salary threshold for skilled migrants from outside the European Union (EU).
Among the immigration reforms expected to be introduced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel is a decline in the salary threshold for skilled migrants from outside the EU.
At a cabinet meeting on Friday, the ministers are expected to lower the current threshold from £30,000 to £25,600. Workers from the EU will be subject to the same threshold once the UK completes the transition period for Brexit on December 31.
Under the new rules, workers who are earning less than the threshold will be able to a visa if they work in a sector with a skills shortage and earn points in other areas, such as speaking good English or having an outstanding educational background.
According to the Home Office, details of the “firmer and fairer new system” will be laid out at the appropriate time. It said: “We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while cutting low-skilled immigration and bringing overall numbers down.”
The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) made several recommendations last month on how the system should look from 2021, including lowering the salary threshold for skilled migrants to attract teachers and skilled National Health Service (NHS) staff.
During his election campaign, Prime Minister Johnson emphasized on introducing a points-based immigration system, based on the one implemented by Australia, for when existing EU freedom of movement rules end.
These current rules allow workers from the EU and European Economic Area countries to come to the UK to live or work without a visa.
The MAC emphasized that there is no such thing as a “perfect” immigration system and that the government must work quickly to get something in place for after the transition period ends.