UK government announce final plans for control of UK borders after Brexit
The UK government has announced the largest immigration reforms for many years in a move to end freedom of movement from the EU and try to ensure UK companies focus on hiring Brits, where possible. The reforms don’t offer any preference for EU workers and the UK visa system will place focus on bringing in skilled workers from any global location.
UK access for EU workers following Brexit
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, said on 1 October that there will be far less access to the UK for EU workers with low skills, putting an end to one of the principal EU rights on free movement.
The target for migration to the UK is set at 100,000, although the Prime Minister is unprepared to confirm whether these new plans will ensure this is met. Sajid Javid stated the new system will put focus onto the skilled workers needed in the UK and in this respect European citizens will be treated just the same as applicants from any other country in the world.
Plans for higher levels of migrant integration are also underway. Sajid Javid stated: “If you want to come to our country and contribute, great. But in exchange, we expect you to live by our British values and respect our values”.
Prime Minister, Theresa May, commented: “For the first time in decades, it will be this country that controls and chooses who we want to come here”.
EU tourists planning to travel to the UK will not face any restrictions under this new legislation, and it’s anticipated that relaxed rules will be in place for business travellers on short trips as well.
There are currently three million EU citizens living and working in the UK and all these people will be given full rights to stay.
Government ministers will now sit down with UK business leaders to work out the exact level of immigration needed to sustain the UK economy, however, all overseas UK visa applicants will need to meet minimum salary requirements in order to obtain permission to live and work in the UK. Although temporary relaxation of migrant worker rules may be put in place to assist sectors that rely on a low-skilled migrant workforce, in the main businesses will be advised to train more British workers.
Sajid Javid commented that any huge increase to unskilled immigration: “. . . must have some kind of negative impact on wages growth in the UK”. But also insisted that the UK would remain a “positive, outward-looking nation open to the best talent from across the world”.
He said: “If we are talking about a software engineer or a surgeon, to me it doesn’t matter about the nationality of that individual, it’s not really important. We want the talent and skill that they are going to bring so it shouldn’t matter if that high-skilled person is coming from India, Australia or France. What matters is the skill that they are going to bring to the UK”.
Richmond Chambers is an award-winning immigration law firm with barristers specialising in UK immigration law and representing clients in UK immigration appeals. Get in touch to find out how our barrister-only service can assist with your UK visa application.