A New Brexit trade deal has been agreed between the UK and the EU. It is claimed that the new UK visa points based system, introduced on 1st of December 2020, will help deal with UK skills shortages after the end of the Brexit transitional period. Newly arriving EU citizens will need to come under the UK visa points system from 1 January 2021. Additional rules will see UK citizens limited to a 90 day visit period for EU countries.
Months of negotiations between the UK and EU regarding Brexit policies have been resolved as PM Boris Johnson announced the new terms on Christmas Eve before giving the nation a joyful 'Brexmas' message. Britain's Brexit UK policy
Claims new UK visa system will allow entry of the brightest and best skilled workers
Johnson ensured the new immigration policy would welcome the "brightest and best" skilled workers from overseas. He states,
"All of this supports the government's new immigration policy, ensuring that the brightest and best global talent can come to the UK for business purposes."
The new points-based policy will be determined based on skill level, job offer, and English proficiency. Applicants will only be considered if they meet a minimum of 50 points. Those who meet the requirements are issued a skilled work visa with a duration of 5 years.
The government's official website states: 'Under the points-based immigration system, points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary.'
Overseas applicants will need a job offer from a licensed sponsor - 20 points
Applicants must be above or meet the minimum required skill level for his/her job - 20 points
Applicants must have an acceptable standard of English proficiency - 10 points
Once applicants meet the 50 point mark, the second list of ‘tradable points’ is required. An additional 20 points based on educational qualifications and salary level of the offered job will also be awarded.
Overseas applicants will need to apply for an online visa. Prices are between £610 - £1,408. Applicants will also need to show proof they can financially support themselves when entering the UK and pay an additional £624 per year for health insurance.
EU Travel Restrictions for UK citizens set to 90 days
Travel restrictions will also come into effect by January 2021. UK citizens looking to travel in the EU beyond 90 days will need to apply for a suitable visa, e.g., work or student visa, depending on their reason for travel.
The new rules on the official UK Government guidance state: 'From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.’
Anyone who exceeds the 90 days will face a fine and possible ban from the EU's Schengen travel zone.
Tourists visiting the UK can do so for up to 6 months without requiring a visa. During this period, they can not access any public support or commence in work-related activities.
Brexit points based system for EU in effect from 2021
Although Britain technically left the EU 12 months ago, new visa restrictions for EU citizens will only take place in January. Much of the time has seen no change regarding travel or immigration policies.
Johnson states, "It is four and a half years since the British people voted to take back control of their money, their borders, their laws, and their waters and to leave the European Union."
He continues, "And earlier this year, we fulfilled that promise, and we left on January 31 with that oven-ready deal."
Regarding the period of change from when Brexit was announced, Johnson's government put the wheels in motion for the changes taking place in 2021.
Johnson states, "Since that time, we have been getting on with our agenda - enacting the points-based immigration system that you voted for and that will come into force on January 1 while preparing the new relationship with the EU."
In terms of the UK and EU relationship which has been tested in the past due to Brexit changes, Johnson believes this new policy is the start of a new improved relationship moving into next year.
“I think that what we have got here is the basis of a new long-term friendship and partnership that basically stabilises that relationship” he adds.
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