Points-Based System – How does it work?

In the year ending June 2022, some 1,100,000 million people migrated to the UK and some 560,000 left the country. That means the UK had 500,000 more people who started living in the country. The net migration number has had an increase of more than 300,000 compared to the previous year.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the increase in migrants is due to resuming post-pandemic travel as well as the migration of non-EU immigrants most of whom had come on a student visa. Other contributing factors are the war in Ukraine, new visa route for Hongkongers, and the Afghan refugees.

In October of last year, Home Secretary Suella Braverman mentioned that she wanted to reduce net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands and that that would be her “ultimate aspiration”. Being a Brexit supporter, she also said that leaving the EU has given the UK a lot more control over migration policies.

Having said that, the UK economic system relies heavily on immigration. The UK’s biggest business group – The Confederation of British Industry – said that immigration is important for resolving worker shortage issues and for boosting the economic growth of the county.

Understanding the Points-Based System

The majority of those who want to work in the UK have to apply for a visa through the Points Based System – PBS. This system was first adopted in 2008 for migrants coming from countries outside the European union. After the Brexit vote, the points-based system underwent a few important changes. The PBS that is now at work had started in the end of 2020. Its rules apply both to EU and non-EU migrants.

Applicant for a work visa must have a certain number of points to qualify. Let’s take the skilled worker visa as a case in point.

To qualify for a skilled worker visa, an applicant must acquire 70 points. He can get points based on his English Skills, qualifications, his job offer and age.

How many points do each of those give the applicant? Take a look at this list:

  • Job offer by an approved sponsor– 20 points
  • Job at appropriate skill level – 20 points
  • Job in a shortage occupation – 20 points
  • English Skills – 10 points
  • RQF Level 3 or above – 20 points
  • Salary between £23,040 to £25,599 a year – 10 points
  • Salary of at least £25,600 a year – 20 points
  • PhD in a subject relevant to the job – 10 points
  • PhD in STEM subject relevant to the job – 20 points

Please note that some of the things in the above list is mandatory for a skilled worker visa. For instance, Job offer by an approved sponsor is mandatory.

Therefore, you have a job offer from an approved sponsor at an appropriate skill level, you speak English and your salary is over £25,600, you get a total of 70 points and will, hence, qualify for the skilled worker visa. Some jobs in the health and education sector will give you 20 points even if the salary is less than £25,600.

The standard fee for a skilled worker visa is somewhere between £625 and £1,423. The visa lasts up to 5 years after which it needs to be renewed.

If your job comes under the shortage occupation list, it is easier to get the required points since the salary threshold is much lower. Some jobs that come under this list are care workers, vets and graphic designers. In March 2023, several construction worker jobs were added to the shortage occupation list.

If you’re interested in obtaining a sponsor license to hire migrant workers living inside or outside of the UK, please don’t hesitate to reach us. We’re here to assist you in successfully submitting your application.

Get in touch with aristone solicitors today



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