December 20: The publication of the British government’s white paper for a post-Brexit immigration system was long overdue. The government’s white paper on immigration promises a single skills-based immigration system post-Brexit with transitional measures for low-skilled workers but a proposed £30,000 salary threshold thereafter. The measure, which would last until 2025, is intended to protect parts of the economy reliant on overseas labour.
Although the idea was described as "shocking" by campaign group Migration Watch, it came as good news for migrants as tens of thousands of low-skilled migrants could come to the UK to work for up to a year under these proposed new post-Brexit immigration rules.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “the new system would be based on UK needs rather than where migrants were from and show the UK open for business". Unveiling what he said would be the biggest shake-up of immigration policy for 40 years, Mr Javid said, “while there was no specific target for reducing numbers coming into the UK, net migration would come down to sustainable levels". Mr Javid said the proposals would enable the UK to exercise control over its borders and deliver on the clear instruction of the British people when they voted to leave the EU.
The much-delayed White Paper, the document setting out proposed new laws before they are formalised in a government bill, also includes following important considerations for the migrants:
-Scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the EU and elsewhere
-A consultation on a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas
-Visitors from the EU will not need visas
-Plans to phase in the new system from 2021
The New system will favour skilled workers. The government said, “The policy will ensure the UK remains a hub for international talent from the EU and the rest of the world”. To address concerns of employers particularly in construction and social care, it is proposed that low-skilled workers will be able to enter the UK for a maximum of 12 months with a cooling-off period of a further 12 months to prevent people effectively working in the UK permanently. Low-skilled workers in this category will be able to move between employers without sponsorship. No access to public funds, a switch to another visa, or family reunion. “This will not be a route to permanent settlement”, is stated in the paper.
The white paper shows the government wants to enact this at the end of the transition period, which is currently set as January 2021.