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Details of new UK 2021 Immigration Points System confirmed

Among the changes, the £30k rule will no longer apply

Published on July 13, 2020

The UK Government has confirmed further details for the country's 2021 immigration rules, which includes confirmation that for many, the problematic £30k rule won't be as much of an issue.

In recent years, many Americans living/working in the UK have faced problems with the £30k rule, which in many scenarios requires an individual to earn more than £30,000 GBP per annum to qualify for a UK visa. Last year, we heard from Dr Elizabeth Ford, an American working in Scotland, who explained that "In order to be employed and have the coveted Tier 2 visa, the job in question must pay at least £30,000 and I must be the only person who can do it."

The 2021 rules, which coincide with the UK leaving the European Union and adopting a points based immigration system, addresses the £30k problem by lowering the threshold required to obtain points, whilst also offering points on the basis of criteria unrelated to income.

For working in the UK, an individual will require 50 mandatory points, and 20 so-called 'tradeable' points. The mandatory points require an individual to have "an offer of a job by an approved sponsor", worth 20 points, a "job at an appropriate skill level", worth another 20 points, and "English language skills at level B1 (intermediate)", which counts for the remaining 10 points.

The 20 required tradeable points can be made up from a number of different avenues. For example, if the job you've been offered has a salary of at least £23,040, and this salary level is at "least 90% of the going rate for the profession", the individual would acquire 10 points. Another route says that if your salary level is over £20,480, but your job is a listed "health/education job and meets the relevant national pay scale", you'd receive the full 20 points needed to qualify. Non-income based points are available too, for example 10 points for having an Educational qualification, such as a PhD in a subject relevant to the job. 20 points are available for having a PhD in a STEM subject (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) relevant to the job, whilst 20 points are also available for jobs in areas where their is a recruitment shortage. The new points system also makes allowances for new entrants, such as recent graduates who are just entering the labour market in the UK.

Although there are a number of further rules and regulations surrounding the policy, and terms like the 'going rate' and the salary thresholds are amendable by the UK Government, the main takeaway is that the arbitrary £30k rule seems to be a thing of the past, which will be a relief to the many Americans who have lived in the UK and yet been abruptly affected by the previous regulations.

If you have further questions, do consult an immigration expert - some of whom can be found via our A-List Directory.

For the full details on the new points based system for 2021, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

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