We are Engage• 3 Min read

3rd December 2020

The UK’s New Points-Based Immigration System

Brexit is formalised on the 31st January 2021, the UK will begin to implement significant changes to their immigration policy. Effectively, the UK government have created an entirely new, points-based immigration system which will come into force at the beginning of 2021.  This will have an impact on anyone coming to the UK, whether they are EU or non-EU nationals. In this article, we’ll be covering the anticipated changes and how they may impact individuals coming to teach in the UK.

Free movement for EU nationals ends on 1st January 2021, which means that all individuals coming to work in the UK will be subjected to the same system. New immigrant routes will be available for individuals from anywhere in the world who want to come and study, work and live in the United Kingdom.

What Do We Know About The New System?

Everyone looking to come and work in the UK after 1st January 2021 will be subject to a new points-based immigration system. The details have yet to be finalised and we will update this post accordingly, but we do have some information on what can be expected from the new process. Whether you are an EU national or from anywhere else in the world, your entry to the UK will be based on a series of criteria, each worth a designated number of points. 

You’ll need:

  • An employer who is an approved sponsor
  • A skilled job
  • English Language proficiency

You’ll also need to be earning a salary of at least £25,600 to qualify for a visa, unless you fulfil some other criteria, such as having a PHD in a relevant subject or the job you are coming to is in a shortage occupation.

READ MORE: Government Guide To The New Points-Based Immigration System

What If You Don’t Have A Job Offer?

The second stage of the system is yet to be announced, but it’s expected to cover highly skilled workers coming to the UK to live and work, but who don’t yet have a confirmed job offer. This will open the visa application process up to highly-skilled, self-employed workers. It’s likely that teaching will be classed as a highly-skilled role, in order to encourage skilled professionals from abroad to bring their skills and experience to UK schools. This is expected to be confirmed by the UK government in due course.

How Will This Affect Teachers?

 Updates to the information published are happening regularly and we are working to stay on top of the latest information. What we do know is that the new system is expected to be faster and simpler for those coming to the UK for skilled or highly-skilled roles. Most teachers coming from English speaking countries will qualify for a visa as long as their employer is able to offer them sponsorship. Employers will need a sponsor licence to employ any worker coming to the UK to work from 1 January 2021. Schools recruiting from other countries will need to have this in place before they can offer roles to non-UK residents. Guidance has yet to be published on the points system for ‘highly skilled’ individuals coming from abroad and how this will relate to education professionals – we will update this post accordingly when we receive more details.

READ MORE: Sponsorship on the UK Government website

What If You Are Already Living And Working Here

European’s currently living in the UK prior to January 1st 2021 will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for the right to reside in the UK. This is free and must be completed before the 30 June 2021.

READ MORE: EU Settlement Scheme

As more information on the new scheme is made available, we’ll endeavour to bring you the latest updates and information relevant to anyone looking to come and work in the UK.  For teachers working with Engage, we’ll be doing everything possible to make your journey to the UK as smooth as possible. We’ll continue to work with our partner schools to ensure we are offering the best possible service during the Brexit transition period and beyond. With a simpler immigration system in place, your goal of teaching in the UK could be more achievable than you think. Speak to us today to find out how we can support your career goals.


Recommended for you

Sign up to the Engage newsletter for education insights.
EnglishUSAIrelandCanadaAustraliaUnited Arabic EmiratesSouth Africa