UK’s Point-Based Immigration System

UK’s Point-Based Immigration System

The UK’s immigration Point-Based System (PBS) has been talked about a lot in the news and by officials in recent years. But what does this really mean? In this blog, we will walk through

  • What is the UK Point-Based Immigration System (PBS)? 
  • Background of Point-Based System (PBS)
  • PBS visas in the UK
  • Which visa falls under this category?

Overview of Point-Based Immigration System (PBS)

In the UK, the Point Based System (PBS) makes sure that people who want to work, do business or study are the only ones who get visas that meet certain requirements. In the PBS, meeting more factors earns more points.

People can apply as long as they get at least a certain number of points. After the UK left the European Union (EU) at the end of 2020, the UK Point Based Immigration System was put in place in 2021. The Home Office put in place a new PBS as a way of

  • keeping immigrants under control
  • getting visas for people from the EU would follow the same steps and meet the same standards as people from non-EU countries
  • making the immigration process easier

The new UK immigration point system for 2021 has some important features that will help both applicants and businesses. One change is that there is no longer a limit on the number of companies and Skilled Worker visas. 

Also, businesses no longer have to do a resident labour market test (RLMT) to show that there are no settled workers in the UK who can do the job they are offering an overseas worker. This cuts down on both the time and money needed to find the right person for a job opening.

Some visa paths in the UK’s point-based immigration system need to be sponsored. It means that a business or school needs to have a sponsor licence. One example of this is the Skilled Worker visa. There are some visa paths that don’t need a sponsor, like the Global Talent visa.

Point-Based Immigration System (PBS): Background 

In 2008, the UK government changed the older, less clear immigration system by putting in place a points-based system.

People said that the UK’s immigration rules were too complicated and hard to understand before the PBS. This was said by both people applying for immigration and the people in charge of immigration. It was also thought that the system that existed before the PBS wasn’t adaptable enough to handle the fast-changing needs of the UK’s economy and job market.

When the five-tier immigration system was put into place, it was a big step towards a more open, fair, and effective way of handling immigrants. Several main goals were in mind when it was made:

Make the process of immigration easier

The PBS wanted to make things easier for people applying and for companies. They did this by bringing together different ways to immigrate into one system based on points.

Meet the economic needs of the UK

The PBS makes it possible to fine-tune immigration rules to match the UK job market’s current need for certain skills and jobs. By attracting people with the right skills to fill key gaps, this flexibility keeps the country competitive on a global level.

Make Compliance and Security Better

The structured nature of the PBS makes it easier for immigration officials to check applicants’ information and ensure they follow the rules of different immigration classes.

Points-Based System Currently Used

The PBS has changed over time in reaction to changes in politics, the economy, and society. The most recent change happened after Brexit.

The new Points Based System has been in place since the UK left the EU on January 1, 2021. It got rid of the UK’s old five-tier immigration system and replaced it with a number of visa routes that were made to help different types of workers and jobs.

What are PBS visas in the UK?

The UK’s Point Based Immigration System is used by many types of visa candidates, such as those who apply through the following channels:

Skilled Worker Route

The Skilled Worker way includes a lot of different methods for hiring skilled workers from other countries. Through this route, applicants can live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time. They may also be able to get indefinite leave to remain.

If you want to apply this way, you need to show all of the following:

  • The Home Office has hired you and given you a job offer.
  • The job offer is for someone with skills at least at the level of RQF 3 (A Level or similar).
  • You can speak English well enough.

Also, the pay for the job you have been offered must be at least £25,600, or more. In that case, it must instead meet the “going rate,” which is the exact salary needed for that job.

Even if your income is below this level, you might still be able to apply if you make up the points in a different area. You might get enough points if you work in a field where there aren’t enough people to do the job or if you have a PhD in a field related to the job.

These are called “tradeable” points.

Please keep in mind that the exact lowest salary that anyone can get is £20,480. But there are different rules about pay for people who are just starting out in their careers. Also for people who work in certain healthcare or education jobs that pay at or above the national average.

If you meet certain requirements, skilled worker visas can cost around £625 to £1,423. You will also have to show proof that you can pay your own expenses while you are in the UK.

For a Skilled Worker Visa, How are points awarded?

When it comes to the UK’s point-based system, there are two kinds of points: required points and tradeable points. Important requirements that must be met in order to apply for a visa are given mandatory points. 

When a candidate meets certain requirements, they are given tradeable points that can be used to make up for things they may be lacking in other areas. For example, a job in a shortage industry will give points that can be used to make up for a lower salary.

Applicants can get extra points for tradeable characteristics that help them make the minimum points requirement. To be qualified for the Skilled Worker visa, applicants must get at least 20 points for tradeable characteristics.

You need 70 points in total to be able to come to the UK and work.

  • To give an example, a person will get the 70 points they need to work in the UK if they:
  • Have all of the required traits (50 points)
  • Offer a job worth between £23,040 and £25,599 (10 points), and
  • Have a PhD in a field that is relevant to their job (10 points)

Mandatory Characteristics

CharacteristicsPoints
An offer of a job from a licenced sponsor20
Job for skill level20
Level B1 English speaking skills10

Traceable Characteristics

CharacteristicsPoints
Pay of between £20,480 and £23,039, or at least 80% of the going rate for the job (whichever is greater)0
Payment between £23,040 and £25,599, or at least 90% of the going rate for the job (whichever is higher)10
Either a salary of at least £25,600 or at least the going rate for the job (whichever is higher)20
Job in a field that the Migration Advisory Committee says is in short supply20
PhD in a field related to the job10
For the job, you need a PhD in a STEM field.20

To know more about characteristics in detail call us at 0203 384 4389.

How to Apply Under Point Based System UK?

Under the new points-based system, most people who want to get a visa will have to do so online.

To complete your application, you’ll need to gather the necessary documentation to prove that you qualify for the particular visa. You might also have to show proof that you got the required number of points for your trip.

Every applicant will need to show a valid passport or travel paperwork to prove who they are. This can be done with the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app for your phone. You’ll create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account. This account lets you track your application progress and check your immigration status.

If you can’t prove who you are with the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app, you might have to go to a nearby visa application place to have your biometrics taken. Keep in mind that the visa application place closest to you might be in a different city or country than where you live.

After that, you’ll need to pay the application fees for your route or visa. Also, anyone who wants to come to the UK for more than six months will have to pay the immigration health fee. Unless they have a visa that lets them avoid this, like a Health and Care Worker visa holder.

You are free to visit the UK once your application has been handled and you have your entry clearance and visa.

For further details about the visa application process, including step-by-step directions on how to apply for all UK visas, call us at 0203 384 4389 or send us an email right now.

Need Assistance?

According to the UK government’s new points-based immigration system, if you want to come and work in the UK, you need to make sure you know all of the rules, limits, and requirements.

Additionally, you need to make sure that you fulfil the requirements for the route or visa you are applying for and that you have all the supporting papers and proof that your application will be accepted.

UK Immigration Solicitors can help you if you want to come to the UK as a skilled worker or through one of the other immigration paths, like the Youth Mobility Scheme.

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