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IMPACT – HIGH
The U.K. Government published its 164-page white paper Wednesday on the proposed future immigration system, which would replace the current points-based system with a skills-based system. The provisions below would be effective starting January 2021 with further operational details intended to be announced in early 2020.
The headline principles
A skilled-workers route
The skilled-worker route would be a sponsored route but the intention is to make this route simpler and easier to use. As a result of these changes, processing times are intended to be shorter and the system would aim to reduce the burden on employers. The end-to-end processing time for the skilled-worker route would be two to three weeks compared with current Tier 2 processing times of three to six months.
The skills charge and National Health Service charge would continue to apply.
A temporary short-term workers route
Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)
Visitors – “a secure and smooth border”
Access to the UK benefits system
In line with the suggested changes to the immigration system, the white paper specifies that the Government is proposing that in the future individuals who are subject to immigration control would not routinely be able to access the U.K. benefits system. In practice they are suggesting that individuals moving to the U.K. from the EU would need to make significant contributions to the U.K. economy before they would be able to access certain state benefits. The expectation is that full access to the U.K. benefits system would only be available after settled status is granted, which is usually after five years. This would be a significant change from the current position of rapid access and would look to align the rights of EU migrants to access U.K. state benefits with those of non-EU nationals.
What if there is no deal?
The Government is intending to clarify its position on EU nationals entering the U.K.after March 29, 2019 if there is no Brexit deal, which is expected to be released shortly. Regardless, the Settled Status scheme which is anticipated to go live in early 2019 would apply.
Analysis & Comments: We welcome the proposed pro-business immigration system outlined in the white paper, which has taken into consideration the needs of U.K. and international businesses. The white paper looks to make clear that the U.K. remains open for business, aiming to attract the brightest and the best talent, while allowing for temporary low-skilled workers and youth-mobility workers to contribute to the U.K. economy. In our view, this white paper is a very positive first step toward the U.K.’s new immigration system starting in 2021.
Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.
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