Brexit Update: Will there be a new points based system for Immigration post 31 January 2020?

Following the Conservative party’s landslide victory in last week’s General Election, there have been further questions about the future of the current immigration system in the UK. The Home Secretary has previously suggested that the UK may introduce an Australian style point based immigration system which will replace the current points based system in the UK under the Immigration Rules. Experts have suggested that this will almost guarantee a tougher immigration system as decisions on Immigration applications will be made objectively, removing any room for movement based on an individual’s circumstances.

What is the Australian Points Based System and what does this mean for the UK?

A point based immigration system is a mechanism used by many governments across the world to control inbound migration. The Australian points based system focusses on selecting migrant workers on their characteristics, qualifications and language proficiency. Migrant workers are awarded points for meeting specific requirements. It is often a yes or no question and there is no flexibility as to whether you meet the requirements for a particular visa application. In theory, this makes the application process streamlined as Applicants should only apply if they meet the requirements. There is normally no room for discretion unless it’s a trivial point.  Point based systems are usually used for business visas and not family visas as these systems are not designed to monitor family applications due to the complexity of these cases. The Australian government enforces a strict allocation of the number of people who will be invited to apply in each occupation.

What impact will an Australian styled Points Based System have on work visas?

It is not entirely clear what impact an Australian style points based system would have on work visas in the UK and employer responsibilities. Rob McNeil, deputy director at the Migration Observatory, has previously expressed concerns stating:

It is legitimate for employers to have some degree of confusion over this because there is a level of confusion for those of us who study these issues as we don’t have sturdy ground ourselves”.

We know that the Australian system does not focus on particular job vacancies/employers but instead focusses more on the characteristics of the worker and qualifications. If something similar were to be introduced to the UK, this is likely to transform the current system because it would remove the focus on the employer/job in question i.e. the RQF level for a particular job and salary would not be deemed as key factors in the application process. The current UK system also places the onus on employers to prepare job descriptions, salary requirements and recruitment procedures. However, the Australian system is driven by the government who plays in an integral part in deciding how many workers can apply and which workers will be invited to make a visa application. Once they get their visa they can find a suitable employer whereas in the UK a work visa is based on singular employment with a selected employer. Currently, if you wish to change employer you must make another application.

What are the differences between the Australian Points Based System and our current system?

The current points based system under the UK Immigration Rules is not too dissimilar with the Australian point based system. The overriding principle of having a fixed impartial system to control immigration is present in both. Some would argue that the Australian system is fit for purpose whilst the UK system requires major reform. This criticism has been acknowledged by the government and they will use Brexit to bring wholesale changes to our current broken system.

In the UK Tier 2 workers have to spend a minimum of 5 years before applying for settlement status (indefinite leave to remain). The Australian system allows workers to receive permanent visas immediately. Another significant difference between the two systems is that the Australian system does not tie in a worker to a specific employer. Workers are free to move jobs as they wish and they are not required to make a transfer of visa application. The Australian system also allows workers to change jobs regardless of level i.e. workers can move from skilled jobs to unskilled jobs. In the UK, there are no age restrictions for Applicants applying for work sponsorship but the Australian system requires Applicants to be aged under 45 to be considered. It is clear there are key differences between the two systems and it is sensible to suggest an Australian styled Immigration System will be welcomed in the UK.

Using Legal Representation to make a Points Based System application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct immigration and visa legal representative to submit points-based system applications under the UK Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your points-based system applications meet the Immigration Rules.

Successful UK Points Based System application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your UK Points Based System application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Points Based System application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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