Latest News on the UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System (Overview). On 31 December 2020, at 11 pm, freedom of movement between the UK and the EU will end. From 1 January 2021, there will be a new UK Points-Based Immigration System. Just several days ago, the UK government published a statement explaining how everything will work.
Last Call for EU Citizens and Their Family Members
From January 2021 EU citizens will need to apply for entry or stay on the same basis as non-EU citizens. It is only if they do not qualify to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme or other routes protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. If they don’t qualify under the EU Settlement scheme, they’ll need to get a UK visa for all activities other than short-term visits.
EU citizens who arrive before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and their family members, can apply to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. They have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under that scheme.
However, all these changes will not affect Irish citizens as the Home Office intends to maintain the Common Travel Area. These arrangements are between the UK, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies: Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. These arrangements will remain intact after the end of the transition period.
There will be no change to rights of Irish citizens to freely enter, live and work in the UK without requiring permission. The UK Immigration authorities will continue with no routine immigration controls on journeys from within the Common Travel Area to the UK. There will be no immigration controls whatsoever on the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border.
‘The UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System’ Article/Video Series
To help you understand the forthcoming changes I’ve created a ‘The UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System’ article/video series. It will consist of several articles and videos. This video series will help foreign workers, students, visitors, their family members, UK employers and UK educational institutions understand how the future system will operate. It will give you, guys, time to prepare ahead of many changes, which will happen in 2021.
In this article, I’ll give an overview of the new system. I’ll explain the idea behind it. You’ll find out about the new system requirements, conditions, switching rules, criminality and deportation thresholds. In the next several articles, I’ll concentrate on each category separately, giving more details to applicants, employers and educational institutions.
Here is what I’ll cover in this article/video series:
Phased Implementation of the UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System
As with the old Points Based System, the UK Government intends to implement the UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System in phases.
The idea is to make it as simple to understand and implement as possible.
The UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System Requirements
From 1 January 2021, immigration rights of visa nationals will remain more or less the same. In other words, they’ll need to apply for a visa to enter or remain in the UK.
The situation will be dramatically different for EEA citizens and their family members. From 2021, the EEA citizens will need to obtain prior authorisation from the UK immigration authorities if they intend to be in the UK for more than six months. They’ll also need to apply for a visa if they intend to stay in the UK for less than six months, if the purpose of their visit is different from the purpose of an average visitor. For example, if they intend to get married in the UK or they want to work.
However, as I mentioned before, these changes will not affect those EEA citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 and applied under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The newly arrived EU and non-EU citizens with permission to work in the UK will be able to use an online service to demonstrate their right to work in the UK. This online service allows, for example, prospective or current employers to access ‘real-time’ information about a person’s right to work.
There won’t be any physical document checks. This system will be easy to use and understand. This will also allow video call checks. The online right to rent service will work in the same way.
In other words, all EU citizens who would like to remain in the UK for more than six months will be able to prove all their rights and entitlements via online services. They will be able to access all public services if they entitled to them (e.g. benefits and healthcare) by using the same automated online system.
There won’t be any need for the majority of EU citizens to provide their fingerprints by attending a Visa Application Centre. Instead, they’ll need to use their smartphones to provide scans and photos of their faces.
Those EU citizens who cannot do it will be able to attend Visa Application Centres.
You’ll need to pay for all visa applications you intend to make. Fees are similar to the current ones. HERE you can have an indicative view of fees.
All migrants will continue to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. However, the Home Office will introduce a new discounted rate for those under the age of 18. Also, they intend to make an exemption to NHS and Social Care frontline workers.