Navigating UK Immigration Changes: Brexit, Freedom of Movement, and Points-Based System

The United Kingdom boasts a rich history of immigration, drawing individuals from across the globe to make it their home for centuries. UK immigration law has continuously evolved to align with the nation’s shifting needs. In this article, we delve into the latest shifts in UK immigration law, exploring their significant impact on entry, residence, and employment in the UK.

Brexit and the End of Freedom of Movement

One of the most pivotal alterations in recent UK immigration law is the cessation of freedom of movement between the UK and the European Union (EU), stemming from the UK’s decision to exit the EU—Brexit. The freedom of movement, which once allowed EU citizens to reside and work in the UK sans visas, concluded on December 31, 2020. It has been replaced by a meticulously structured points-based immigration system, applicable to individuals from both EU and non-EU nations. This system necessitates the accumulation of points based on criteria such as skills, qualifications, and job offers to obtain a visa.

The Points-Based System

The innovative points-based immigration system is engineered to entice the most skilled and proficient individuals to the UK. It encompasses various routes, including:

  1. Skilled Worker Route: The most prevalent route for immigration to the UK, catering to individuals with a job offer from a UK employer. Applicants must amass a specific number of points based on their job offer, skill level, English language proficiency, and salary.
  2. Global Talent Route: Designed for remarkably talented individuals in fields like science, research, arts, and humanities. Applicants must obtain an endorsement from a recognised UK body and meet stringent criteria.
  3. Student Route: Enabling international students to pursue education at UK institutions. It mandates a valid admission offer from a recognised educational institution and sufficient financial resources.
  4. Innovator and Start-up Routes: Tailored for entrepreneurial minds seeking to establish innovative businesses in the UK. Applicants must present a viable business idea and secure endorsement from a recognised endorsing body.

This system underscores skills, qualifications, and contributions to the UK economy rather than nationality, striking a balance between immigration control and the continued benefit of the UK from global talent and expertise.

The Impact on EU Citizens

The termination of freedom of movement had profound implications for EU citizens residing in the UK and those desiring to relocate. The UK government introduced the EU Settlement Scheme, allowing EU citizens already in the UK to secure their immigration status. EU citizens who arrived before the transition period’s conclusion had until June 30, 2021, to apply for settled or pre-settled status, depending on their circumstances. As for EU citizens aspiring to move to the UK post-freedom of movement, they must navigate the same points-based system as non-EU citizens. This change results in a more uniform and consistent approach to immigration.


The recent transformations in UK immigration law, chiefly the cessation of freedom of movement and the inception of a points-based system, signify a substantial shift in how the UK handles immigration. These changes aim to ensure the attraction of highly skilled individuals while maintaining border control. As the global landscape evolves, it is anticipated that UK immigration law will continue to adapt to address the nation’s evolving needs and priorities.

Why Instruct Our Specialist Immigration Solicitors?

At DJF Solicitors, our team of specialist immigration lawyers will always act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meetings, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. 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 to discuss your visa application.

Contact Us

For professional guidance and assistance with your application, contact our immigration solicitors on 02030110276 or complete our contact form.

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