(TIME) — U.K. government announces new “points-based” immigration system, mandating foreign workers prove they “can speak English”.
The U.K. unveiled plans to end what it calls the U.K.’s dependence on “cheap low-skilled labor,” proposing a points-based immigration system
A table published by the Home Office showed 70 points would be needed to get a visa. Examples include 10 points for speaking English, 20 points for a job offer, 20 for a salary of 25,600 pounds ($33,000) or above, and 20 points each for a post-doctoral qualification or a job in a designated shortage occupation.
Although Johnson has branded the rules a complete change, it largely involves making EU citizens apply for visas under the existing system for non-EU migrants. That will include student visas. With employers no longer able to access the entire EU to fill job vacancies, required thresholds on the existing system have been lowered, both in salaries and required qualifications.
The existing system for high-earners and the most skilled, which allows them to come to the U.K. without a job offer, will likewise be extended to EU citizens, the government said, though it gave fewer details.