Immigration white paper published

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The government has published its long awaited immigration white paper, The UK’s future skills-based immigration system, setting out clear proposals for the immigration system from early 2021, post-Brexit.

Some of the recommendations set out in the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published in September have been accepted by government.

Proposals for the future system

  • A single, skill-based immigration route for highly skilled and skilled individuals from outside of the UK, designed to bring in talent and expertise through employer sponsorship. The skilled category will include workers with intermediate skills Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) 3-5 level (A-level or equivalent).
  • Removal of the 20,700 Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship cap for skilled workers.
  • Employers no longer required to demonstrate the Resident Labour Market Test.
  • A temporary (up to 12 months) paid-for visa route for all skill levels (not extending to families), which will have a 12-month cooling off period to prevent individuals from working in the UK permanently. This will only be applicable to nationals within certain countries with which the UK negotiates migration commitments and mobility proposals and will be reviewed in 2025.
  • Potentially, a salary threshold of £30,000 for five-year visas, which will be consulted on separately.
  • Easier and quicker to use through better information sharing between agencies, without financial burden for employers.
  • Six months’ post-study leave offered to all master’s students and bachelor’s students studying at an institution with degree-awarding powers, which will give them more time to find permanent skilled work and to work temporarily during that period. Those who have completed a PhD will have a year.

Next steps

There is a commitment from the Home Office to engage with stakeholders over the next 12 months and consult on the proposed salary threshold.

NHS Employers welcomes the opportunity to engage with the Home Office and NHS organisations over the next 12 months, helping to ensure where possible that further development of the future immigration system meets the needs of our health and social care system and other sectors. We will update you as and when opportunities to feed into engagement becomes available.

For further information on international recruitment, please visit our dedicated web pages.

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