New immigration system: what you need to know

From 01 January 2021, the UK will introduce its new points-based immigration system.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 08 April 2020)

Visa application process

  • From Autumn 2020, new immigration routes will open allowing applications to work, live and study in the UK
  • Biometric information will be required and the process for this is:
    • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will need to provide a digital photos of your face using a smart phoneno fingerprints necessary – for a small number of visa routes (to be confirmed) you’ll need to go to an overseas visa application centre to have your photo taken
    • Non-EU citizens will continue to submit fingerprints and have photos taken at overseas application centres

Skilled workers

  • From January 2021, the offered job will require a skill level of RQF3 or above (A level equivalent) – You also need to speak English and the minimum salary threshold is £25,600
  • If you do not meet the required salary, there are other ways to apply – please get in touch for more information

Global talent scheme

  • Highly-skilled scientists and researchers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland can come to the UK without a job offer

Lower-skilled workers

“There will not be an immigration route specifically for those who do not meet the skills or salary threshold for the skilled-worker route

The seasonal agricultural visa pilot scheme will be expanded – recognising the significant reliance this sector has on low-skilled temporary workers.”

International students and graduates

  • As an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen you will be able to apply for a visa to study in the UK if you:
    • have been offered a place on a course
    • can speak, read, write, and understand English
    • have enough funds to support yourself and pay for your course
  • For graduates who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021, there will be a new graduation immigration route where you’ll be able to work, or look for work in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years

Other visa routes

Short-term work visas in specific sectors (the current ‘Tier 5’) and investor, business development and talent visas (the current ‘Tier 1’) will be opened up to EU citizens.”

Visiting the UK

If you’re visiting the UK for up to 6 months, visas will not be required to enter if you’re an EU, EEA, Swiss citizen or a non-visa national.

EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020

“If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.”

Crossing the UK border

“Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States of America, Singapore and South Korea – with a biometric chip in their passports – will continue to be able to use ePassport gates to pass through the border on arrival. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will also be able to use ePassport gates (this will be kept under review). EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport.”

Proving immigration status in the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will use an online service to view their immigration status and to prove their status to others.

Employers, landlords and public service providers will continue to accept EU citizens’ passports and identity cards as evidence of their immigration status until 30 June 2021.

Guidance for employers is available on carrying out right to work checks on EU citizens and their family members in the UK.

Non-EU citizens will continue to use a physical document to prove their immigration status.

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information on the new immigration system, send an email to or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service and all scheduled appointments will be held remotely. Please be advised that whilst our remote drop-in service will be held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm, our Friday service (usually held in Preston) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

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