London.- Britain has unveiled a new points-based immigration system that ends the free movement of people and prioritises those with high-skilled jobs.
The scheme is meant to replace the one Britain followed as a member of the European Union.
Britain left the bloc after 47 years on January 31 and is set to stop following EU rules when the post-Brexit transition period ends in December.
“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement late Tuesday.
Control of Britain’s borders was one of the issues that drove voters to support a split from the other 27 EU nations in the 2016 membership referendum.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a healthy majority in December’s general election and the plan is sure to win parliamentary support.
The government’s proposal requires each foreign worker to earn 70 points to be eligible and a set number of points for each qualification or skill.
It awards the maximum 20 points for prospective migrants who will earn at least 25,600 pounds ($33,325) and no points for those who will make the required minimum of 20,480 pounds.
Twenty points also go to people with an “appropriate skill level” and another 20 for those who speak English “at required level”.
Britain’s current salary threshold for skilled migrants is 30,000 pounds.
People also earn 20 points who have jobs “in a shortage qualification” and either 10 or 20 points for doctorate degrees in various fields.
“Applicants will be able to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a lower salary,” the government proposal says.
It does not affect more than 3.2 million EU citizens who have applied to stay in Britain under the official settlement scheme. AFP