New Points-Based System further details

On 13 July 2020, the Home Office released further details of the new Points-Based System (PBS). The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and fairly. It will prioritise the skills a person has to offer rather than their nationality.

Skilled Worker

Migrants (except British and Irish) who have a confirmed job offer, and whose employment will be sponsored by a UK licensed employer, to work in specified occupations (at RQF 3 or equivalent and above) will need to apply under the new PBS route.

Under the new system, points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations. In order to qualify, migrants will need to obtain 70 points to be eligible for a visa. To be noted that three requirements (50 points towards the 70 points threshold) are mandatory and must be met by all applicants. For example, migrants will earn 20 points if they receive a job offer from an approved sponsor, 20 points will be awarded if the job is at appropriate skill level (RQF 3 or above) and 10 points will be awarded if the applicants can speak English at the required level.

If the migrant is offered a salary above £25,600 per annum, he/she will be able to claim the extra 20 points to meet the 70 points threshold to qualify.

Anyone coming to work in the UK will need to be paid the specific salary threshold for their occupation – the ‘going rate’ – and the general minimum salary threshold (£25,600). However, if the migrant’s salary is less than £25,600, but above £20,480 per annum, they will need to obtain ‘trading’ points earned on specific characteristics against their lower salary level – for instance, if their job is on the shortage occupation list, or they were to hold a PhD in a subject relevant to their job or a PhD is in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subject relevant to the job.

Skilled Worker conditions and requirements
















(Source: the Home Office)

Points requirements in further applications by individuals

Those who enter the Skilled Worker route will need to make a new application if they

  • Change employer;
  • Change jobs (to another SOC code); or
  • Extend their stay.

Please note that existing Tier 2 (General) migrants who need to do any of the above will also need to make such an application under the Skilled Worker route once the Tier 2 (General) route closes.

If the migrant has changed their employer and/or their job, there will be a reassessment of whether their new position meets the required skill and salary level. PAYE records for all skilled workers will be regularly checked to confirm they are being paid the correct salary. Please also refer to Annex E (page 69 – 130) for eligible occupations and going rates:

Applicants who scored points for English language at the required level in an initial application will score those points automatically in a subsequent application. They will not need to submit their qualification certificates again, but if their job has changed, the UKVI will assess whether their qualification is relevant to their new job.

New entrants

New entrants to the UK labour market are currently entitled to come to the UK on a lower salary than their more experienced counterparts are required to earn. They currently benefit from this reduced salary threshold for three years. Migrants will be defined as new entrants under the PBS if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • They are switching from the Student or Graduate route to the Skilled Worker route;
  • They are under the age of 26 on the date of their application; or
  • They are working towards recognised professional qualifications or moving directly into postdoctoral positions.

Please note that under the new Skilled Worker route, there will be no requirement for employers to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT). This reform will remove at least four weeks from the end-to-end process for sponsoring skilled workers. However, sponsors must still be seeking to fill a genuine vacancy which meets the skill and salary thresholds of the new route. Roles cannot be created solely to facilitate immigration of a specific migrant to the UK.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK work visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.


The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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