The U.K.’s post-Brexit immigration system is now live. The new rules mean that from December 1, most foreign nationals, including from the European Union, who want to work in the U.K. from January 1 will have to apply online for a visa.
Those seeking a skilled worker visa will need a job offer, to be proficient in English and earn at least £25,600 ($33,872). The new points-based system replaces free movement as the U.K. finalizes its departure from the EU. Points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary. Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points. Other routes include the Global Talent visa for people who can show they have exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the fields of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture; the Innovator visa for a person seeking to establish a business in the U.K. based on an innovative, viable and scalable business idea; the Start-up visa for a person seeking to establish a business in the U.K. for the first time; and the Intra-company Transfer visa, which is for established workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a skilled role in the U.K.
After the application process, which includes verification of identity and documents, applicants can expect a decision in approximately three weeks. They will need to have enough money to pay the application fee (ranging from £610 to £1,408), the healthcare surcharge (usually £624 per year) and be able to support themselves (usually by having at least £1,270 available).
The visa lasts for up to 5 years before it needs to be extended.
The British government is also establishing a new border operations center for round-the-clock surveillance of goods and passengers coming in and out of U.K. ports for the first time. Many industries and travelers expect disruption from January 1 as new trading arrangements with the EU come into play.
The new center is being kitted out with technology from U.S. company Palantir. Central to the new operation will be the Border Flow Service software which will gather information about the flow of goods and passengers.