On December 1st, 2020, the points-based immigration system and the Skilled Worker Visa came to change UK’s immigration policy radically. 

The points-based immigration system works by awarding points for people with good English who have skilled jobs paid at rates that do not affect wages in a negative way. 

The system gave the UK government the power of absorbing and taking control of the British immigration system, allowing British companies to hire talented people from abroad more easily thanks to the Skilled Worker Visa. 

This visa lets skilled foreigners work legally in the UK. Over the last year, the Skilled Worker Visa represented 61% of work-related visas, even with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration clearly illustrated in the statistics: up to 110,721 Skilled Worker visas were issued by the end of September 2019, while only 80,151 Skilled Worker visas were granted by the end of September 2020.

The workers that arrived in the UK with the aid of the Skilled Worker Visa are hospitality workers, creative workers, social care workers, IT workers, scientists, researchers, architects, and physicians, but also butchers, plumbers, and construction workers such as bricklayers. 

These professionals helped improve the UK’s public services, workforce, wages, and overall growth. They’ve also added value to the international competitiveness of British firms. This is especially important for the UK’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Kevin Foster, the Minister for Safe and Legal Migration, said: “As we recover from the pandemic, our points-based immigration system encourages businesses to focus on their UK workforces, investing in British people and skills, while boosting growth and the economy.

At the same time, we recognize there are jobs where we need the expertise and skills of overseas workers and extraordinarily talented people who want to make the UK their home. Under our points-based immigration system, people who want to contribute to our society will be welcome, based on their skills and talents, not where their passport is from”.

Lynne Watson, Vice President of Human Resources, Thales UK said: “The work we do at Thales, from engineering to manufacturing, is highly skilled and requires us to draw on talent from across the globe to deliver cutting edge technology and products for our customers. We are very proud of our diverse workforce at Thales and we see our sponsored route visa workers as a strong asset to that”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel agrees that the system facilitates the “import” of talent and incentives investment in the UK’s workforce, pointing out that the UK’s departure from the European Union put a brake on the freedom of movement and helped the British authorities control “who can come to our country legally”. She then addressed the “long-standing problem” of illegal migrants, especially focusing on those who “cross the Channel on small boats”.

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