What is the Points Based System?  

The Points Based System is a proposed set of immigration rules which lays out different types of work and study visas for people coming to the UK. There are already stringent rules, strict eligibility criteria and huge fees involved in our immigration system, but this is making headlines now because the Government plans to put the proposed system in to place when Free Movement comes to an end due to Brexit.  

The details of the new rules are still being debated by MPs, but the Government’s proposals set out a long checklist of requirements that applicants must meet, in order to come to the UK to work or study. The Government is aiming to have this new system ready for January 2021, and with 6 months to go it is worrying that this will be rushed through, when it has extremely important repercussions for not only our economy, but for those trying to build their lives in the UK. 

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Has Covid-19 changed Priti Patel’s post-Brexit immigration system plans? 

The Covid crisis has shown us that the very people the Government hadeemed low-skilled are actually the backbone of our society. Care workers, cleaners, delivery drivers, shop workers – these are the people who’ve been keeping our country going – and during the pandemic they’ve been recognised as ‘essential workers’.  

But despite this new recognition, the proposed rules will make it impossible for many essential workers to safely enter or work in the UK.

What will the new immigration system mean for migrants? 

There are already huge problems in our immigration system – from the extortionate costs of applying for or renewing a visa, to the double fine that is the NHS Surcharge, to the exclusion of migrants from even the most basic public support. This system leaves migrants less safe and secure, but instead of fixing it, the Government wants to extend these rules to European nationals who move to the UK after Brexit. Instead of a race to the bottom, which brings down all workers’ rights, we should be levelling up the rights of all migrants, so that we are all as protected and secure as each other. 

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What is the new health and social care visa? 

The Government promised a new “health and care visa” with better terms and conditions, as a way to acknowledge the vital role of migrant workers in the health and social care systems. The proposals laid out on 13 July missed key categories of workers – with care workers, care assistants, healthcare assistants and hospital cleaners missed out. The public recognises the hard work and vital role of workers in these roles in keeping the UK going through this crisis – but the Government has failed to keep up.  

Photo credit @kraft

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