20 May Immigration Bill passes initial Commons stage
On 18 May 2020, the new Post-Brexit Immigration Bill returned to the House of Commons for its second reading, and it was approved. The Bill will now go onto further parliamentary scrutiny before the House of Lords for debates and vote.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill will abolish the free movement of EU citizens at the end of this year. Under the proposed new immigration system beginning in 2021, points will be awarded for specific requirements such as being able to speak English to a certain level, having a job offer from an approved employer and meeting a minimum salary threshold set at £25,600. Points can be “traded” in some circumstances, for instance if the migrant’s prospective salary falls between £20,480 and £25,600, the shortfall can be made up if the job is listed on the shortage occupation list, or the migrant is holding a PhD degree in a subject relevant to the job, or a PhD is in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The UK Government has argued that the new system would make it easier and quicker for doctors, nurses and medical professionals from overseas to work in the health service through a new fast-track NHS visa. It remains to be seen, meanwhile UK businesses are encouraged to apply for a Tier 2 licence, if they have not already done so, to employ foreign workers.
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