Boris Johnson to reveal post-Brexit immigration shake-up with salary threshold drop

Posted On: 
9th February 2020

Boris Johnson is set to slash the salary threshold for skilled migrants from £30,000 to £25,600 after Brexit.

Under the new Australian-based points system, the Home Office estimates a cut of 90,000 unskilled EU migrants coming to the UK a year
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel are likely to also lay out plans to cut the number of low-skilled migrants coming to the UK at a cabinet meeting this week. 

It is understood ministers will follow advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee to cut the minimum salary for for workers to allow the NHS and schools to continue to recruit staff.

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Under the new Australian-based points system, the Home Office estimates there will be a cut of 90,000 unskilled EU migrants coming to the UK a year.

But it will expect an increase of 65,000 skilled workers entering the country from Europe and elsewhere. 

They will also be able to earn points for speaking good English or having an “outstanding” educational background, that could help newcomers gain entrance to the UK even if their job offers less than the set £25,600 salary.

According to the plan, being introduced for January 2021, those under the minimum pay requirement but who work in a sector with a skills shortage will be awarded double points.

Details such as new charges for EU students to attend British universities are also set to be discussed as part of the UK's trade deal negotiations with the bloc.

A government source told the Times: “The PM wants to deliver a system which demonstrates the UK is open and welcoming to the top talent from across the world, which will help the economy and country thrive.

“At the same time we must deliver on what this country voted for — by decreasing low-skilled migration and breaking away from a reliance on cheap labour to focus on boosting skills, technology and innovation that will truly benefit the UK for the long term."