The biggest change for a generation in Britain’s immigration system will see the end of freedom of movement for millions of European Union nationals, British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced Monday.
From Jan. 1, 2021, when the new rules come into effect, residents of the EU’s 27 member states will be treated equally to arrivals from the rest of the world. But EU citizens who started living in Britain by Dec. 31, 2020 will still be able to apply to settle in Britain under the EU settlement scheme until 30 June 2021. More than 3.7 million EU citizens have so far made applications to settle in Britain.
Patel unveiled a 130-page document outlining new immigration rules following the country’s departure from the EU after almost 50 years of membership. It will be centered around a points system to determine who will be allowed into Britain, and who will be refused access.
In its immigration document, the Home Office said the new points-based system will be a fair system, treating people from every part of the world equally.
“The British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system. Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from 1 January 2021,”
People applying to work in Britain will also need a level of English language to support integration, ensuring migrants can live and be part of the wider community in Britain.
In a written statement to the House of Commons, Patel said: “At a time where an increased number of people across the UK are looking for work, the new points-based system will encourage employers to invest in the domestic UK workforce, rather than simply relying on labor from abroad.”
“We are also making necessary changes, so it is simpler for employers to attract the best and brightest from around the world to come to the UK to complement the skills we already have.”
A new graduate route will allow international students to stay in Britain once they have completed their studies for two years for students gaining a masters’ degree, and three years for students who have completed a PhD degree.
A global talent scheme will also allow scientists and researchers to head to Britain without a job offer.
Controversially, the new rules will exclude thousands of…