The government has revealed a new points-based immigration plan which will come into force on 1 January next year.
Under the post-Brexit rules, free movement will be replaced by a minimum salary threshold of £25,600 for most workers – lower than the £30,000 proposed under Theresa May’s premiership.
It is hoped the “firm but fair” system will attract “high-skilled workers” to create a “high wage, high skill, high productivity” economy.
The Tories have vowed to prioritise people based on their skills rather than where they come from, adding: “For too long, distorted by European free movement rights, the immigration system has been failing to meet the needs of the British people.”
Migrants will be charged about £1,200 for a work visa, or £900 in a shortage occupation – the same fee as paid by non-EU migrants currently.
All applicants – both EU and non-EU citizens – who want to live and work in the UK will need to gain 70 points to be eligible to apply for a visa.
Points will be awarded for key requirements and they must meet three criteria, which total 50 points.
Have a job offer from an approved sponsor, such as an employer cleared by the Home Office (20 points).
Have a job offer that is at a “required skill level” (20 points).
They can speak English to B1 level, enabling someone to, for example, open a bank account, or cope with “most situations” at home, work or leisure. (10 points).