This reading list presents a selected snapshot of responses to the February 2020 Government policy statement on a new points-based system for immigration.
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Most responses have focussed on the proposals for sponsored skilled worker visas (known as the Tier 2 (General) visa category in the current points-based system).
There are some recurring themes. Some aspects of the proposals have been broadly welcomed, notably:
- The abolition of the resident labour market test.
- The lowering of the skills and salary thresholds.
- The suspension of the ‘cap’ on the number of work visas available.
However, many stakeholders have caveated their responses by highlighting concerns about:
- The absence of a transitional visa category to assist employers to adapt to the ending of EU free movement law.
- The particular effect on sectors with many low-paid or low-skilled jobs, or with a large proportion of EU workers (e.g. social care, hospitality, tourism, construction).
- The continued use of national salary thresholds without scope for regional variations.
- The costs and administrative burdens associated with sponsoring work visas, and the particular impact on smaller employers.
- The ambitious timetable for implementation of the new system.