Freedom of movement between the U.K. and the EU comes to an end at the conclusion of the Brexit transition periodOli Scarff/Getty Images

UK ministers back post-Brexit points-based immigration system

‘Simpler’ and ‘fairer’ visa regime will apply from January 2021.


LONDON — Boris Johnson's Cabinet approved today the introduction of a points-based immigration system from next year with the aim of reducing the country's reliance on low-paid workers from overseas.

Following a meeting of top ministers this morning, the prime minister's official spokesman said the new system would come into force in January — once the Brexit transition period and freedom of movement from the EU comes to an end — adding it would be "simpler" and "fairer" than current visa arrangements.

The reform, which will be detailed in an immigration bill due to be introduced in parliament next month, will ensure the U.K. remains "open and welcoming to talent" while ending the country's reliance on "cheap, low-skilled labor," the spokesman said.

The government is expected to broadly follow the recommendations put forward last month by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), including reducing the salary threshold requirements for some workers from £30,000 to £25,600.

Under the new system, applicants are likely to earn more points if they apply for jobs in critical public sectors such as the National Health Service and teaching. English language skills, educational qualifications, age and willingness to work outside London are also likely to be considered.