Theresa May announces plans on immigration after Brexit which she hopes will attract higher skilled workers to the UK
British Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled plans for a new post-Brexit immigration system that she promises will reduce low-skill migration.
The plans have been backed by the Labour Party and approved by the cabinet.
May on Tuesday said: "The new skills-based system will make sure low-skilled immigration is brought down and set the UK on the path to reduce immigration to sustainable levels, as we promised."
"At the same time, we are training up British people for the skilled jobs of the future."
While the UK leader stressed the need to attract international talent, she doubled down on taking back British borders.
"Two years ago, the British public voted to leave the European Union and take back control of our borders."
"When we leave we will bring in a new immigration system that ends freedom of movement once and for all. For the first time in decades, it will be this country that controls and chooses who we want to come here."
What will change?
For those people wanting to travel to the UK, before they do, security and criminal background checks will have to be done before flying. It'll be rather like the Esta system for entering America. Visitors will have to plan ahead and apply.
Then, once tourists and people from low-risk countries have landed, they will all be scanned at E-gates. At the moment, it's only EU citizens who use the E-gates. It could mean the queue could be longer to get through at that gate but it should move faster than the normal immigration desk.
Workers wanting to stay longer will have to have a minimum salary to ensure they do not compete with UK workers — and means they will need to be higher skilled. This will effectively reduce the number of low-skilled workers entering the country.
Workers will only be able to bring their families with them if they're all sponsored by future employers.
There will be no cap on student visas which will mean a likely increase in foreign students studying in the UK. Generally, foreign students have to pay more than UK students.
The prime minister has previously made it clear that all EU citizens living in the UK would get the right to remain.
Euronews UK correspondent Vincent McAviney, on Good Morning Europe, said, "There are quite big changes for people wanting to come and work and visit the UK. Theresa May is very much trying to play to voters outside of this hall in the UK who voted for Brexit because of the feeling that there was too much immigration."
Ahead of legislation next year, a White Paper will be published in the autumn, outlining how the system will work.
The proposals in a nutshell:
- Passports of short-stay tourists and people from low-risk countries will be scanned at E-gates. (At the moment, that's just done for EU citizens).
- Security and criminal background checks will be done before visits, like the U.S. Esta system.
- Workers wanting to stay for longer will have to have to make a minimum salary that ensures they do not compete with UK workers.
- Successful applicants for high-skilled jobs will only be able to bring their families with them if they're sponsored by future employers.
- There will be no cap on student visas.