UK to Ban Non-English-Speaking Migrants & Unskilled Workers Under Immigration Shakeup
Boris Johnson's new ‘points-based immigration system’ unveiled
The UK is closing its doors to non-English-speaking migrants and unskilled workers under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new "points-based immigration system."
Under the government's sweeping new reforms, seeking to end Britain's reliance on cheap European labor, migrants from the EU will have to speak English and have a skilled, well-paid job offer in place before being granted a visa.
The new rules are part of the biggest shake-up to border measures since the United Kingdom joined the Common Market in 1973.
Open borders for non-English speakers will be a thing of the past while low-skilled immigration will be made virtually impossible under the points-based system.
EU migrants' chances of getting a work visa will be reduced to the same as for applicants from outside of the European Union.
To work in Britain, migrants will need at least 70 points - with points awarded for speaking English, the applicant's qualifications, if the job earns a salary above £25,600, and the skill level of the work.
The UK government's immigration system is seeking to shift the economy away from a reliance on cheap labor.
Boris Johnson's Conservative government said the new rules would "open up the UK to the brightest and the best from around the world.”
The new rules follow Britain’s calamitous exit from the European Union last month after 47 years of membership.
More than 3 million EU citizens currently living in the UK are entitled to stay, according to reports.
But from January 1, 2021, new immigration rules will apply to EU and non-EU citizens alike.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said Britain's new "points-based immigration system" would assess prospective immigrants on a range of skills, qualifications, salaries or professions.
"We will choose who comes here based on the skills they can offer, to benefit the whole of the UK," the home secretary said.
"They must speak English – so they integrate in our communities."
The new rules make it tougher for EU citizens but easier for people from many other nations starting next year.
Skilled immigrants are currently required to have a university degree but in the future will only need the equivalent of Britain's pre-university "A levels."
The government said it would come up with specific proposals for scientists, graduates, health care workers and those in the agricultural sector.
But there is no specific immigration route for what the government calls "low-skilled workers" — a category it says includes 70 percent of the more than 1 million EU citizens who have moved to the U.K. since 2004.
The immigration plan still has to be passed by Parliament — which is highly likely since the Conservatives have a large majority.
In response to some employers’ arguments that the new changes could bring about a labor crisis for sectors such as health and social care, the government said the UK needed to “shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labor from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation," adding: "Employers will need to adjust."