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Government likely to rely on MAC Report for the new immigration system

The Migration Advisory Committee has released an extensive report on the Points-Based System and Salary Thresholds. This was commissioned by the Government in July and September of last year.

The report advises against a full-scale ‘Australian-style’ points-based system. Instead, it recommends retaining the existing Tier 2 structure with an addition of lower skill-level jobs and a lower salary threshold from the current £30,000 per year.

We also expect the Government to steam ahead with the new government proposal and to rely on this report. Despite calls from the CBI and numerous stakeholder bodies to consult with businesses for the ‘new’ system, it is expected that this consultation may not now happen.

The 278-page report makes numerous recommendations and a summary of these are:

  • Retain the existing framework for Tier 2 (skill-based with a job offer) route
  • Overhaul the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route and re-design it is using a points-based system but add safeguards to prevent abuse.
  • Pause further increases to the Tier 2 Settlement salary threshold
  • Review the Tier 2 Settlement requirements to make them clearer
  • Reduce the minimum salary threshold to £25,600 for the Tier 2 (general) route with a reduction for ‘new entrants’
  • Introduce a separate pilot visa for ‘remote’ parts of the UK, which could include a lower salary threshold exemption.
  • Review the Shortage Occupation List after the new immigration system is introduced

We now expect the Immigration bill for the new Immigration System to be brought forward to March 2020.

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