The new points based immigration system is due to roll out in the United Kingdom from 1st January 2021, following the UK’s exit from the European Union. This will change the way that free travel works in and out of the UK, and may also affect the way that visa applications are made.
The new points based immigration system puts an end to free movement as we know it, instead, implementing new rules which put into consideration an individuals skills and talent. This means that individuals will need to meet a new set of requirements if they wish to move to the UK to live, work or study. Individuals will also need to pass a number of checks, including criminal checks.
The new page on the government website outlines a number of new changes to the visa system, with new rules for students, graduates and those working in the UK as skilled workers or under health care visas.
It also provides details on changes to how people will be expected to apply for their visas under the new rules. One big change is that the majority of individuals will be able to apply through their phones, arguably streamlining the application process:
Most people will be able to complete their [visa] application, including identity verification, using a smartphone app. Some applicants may need to attend a Visa Application Centre depending on the route they are applying for and whether they have a biometric passport or are unable to use the app.
Some of the current rules are still in place, for example, individuals are still required to pay a number of fees in the application process:
You will need to pay an application fee and, if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months, you may have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which will enable you to access the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
With many changes coming to the UK visa system, you may have questions or concerns as to what this means for you and your family, either if you’re already in the UK, or thinking of migrating. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team are on hand to offer the best immigration advice.