'Points-based' immigration review to be published

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A review into how the government could introduce a “points-based” immigration system will be published later.

Home Secretary Priti Patel asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to look into the best practice for the policy back in September 2019.

It came after Boris Johnson made the proposal a key pledge of his leadership campaign.

The committee has also been looking into salary thresholds immigrants must meet to come to the UK.

Currently, skilled migrants from outside the EU seeking five-year visas need to have a minimum salary of £30,000.

But in June 2019, the then-home secretary (and now Chancellor) Sajid Javid asked the MAC to look into the threshold’s impact and if changes needed to be made – such as varying the figure based on regional averages.

Lowering the threshold has been backed by a number of businesses and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The MAC review will cover both of these elements of migration policy.

Mr Johnson led calls for the new system – based on the scheme in Australia – during his summer campaign to lead the Conservative Party.

People who want to move to Australia to work generally need to be looking for a job that is in demand.

Applicants are assigned points based on a number of professional and personal characteristics, with higher points awarded for more desirable traits – from the amount of time they have worked in a skilled sector through to their proficiency in the English language.

After getting the keys to No 10, Mr Johnson instructed his Home Secretary, Mrs Patel, to seek a review into how it could be implemented in the UK.

Writing to the MAC last year, Mrs Patel asked for the committee to look at “the Australian immigration system and similar systems to advise on what best practice can be used to strengthen the UK labour market and attract the best and brightest from around the world”.

She said: “Delivering on the promise to introduce an Australian-style points-based system is part of our approach to improving public confidence in our immigration system whilst allowing us to welcome talented and skilled individuals from all over the world.”

But businesses have cautioned flexibility in any new system to ensure they can get the workers they need.


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