Students will be covered by the points-based system. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.
Under the current immigration rules, there are a range of other immigration routes for specialist occupations, including innovators, ministers of religion, sportspeople and to support the arts. Their broad approach for January 2021 will be to open existing routes that already apply to non-EU citizens, to EU citizens (the current ‘Tier 5’).
The rules for family reunion, asylum and border crossing checks are outside of the points-based system. However, they will remain integral to the transformation of the UK’s new immigration system programme.
In addition, they will continue their generous visitor provisions, but with simplified rules and guidance. they expect to treat EU citizens as non-visa nationals meaning they can come to the UK as visitors for six months without the need to obtain a visa. they will also unilaterally allow EU citizens to continue to use e-gates, but they will keep this policy under review. There will be no change to the arrangements for the Common Travel Area.
The future system will also deliver on ‘Mode 4’ commitments for temporary service suppliers, in line with existing and future trade agreements. Individuals will achieve the required points if they meet the requirements for the specific routes.
They will not be creating a dedicated route for self-employed people. They recognize that there are several professions where there is a heavy reliance on freelance workers. They will continue to be able to enter the UK under the innovator route and will in due course be able to benefit from the proposed unsponsored route. The UK already attracts world class artists, entertainers and musicians and they will continue to do so in the future. The UK’s existing rules permit artists, entertainers and musicians to perform at events and take part in competitions and auditions for up to six months. They can receive payment for appearances at certain festivals or for up to a month for a specific engagement, without the need for formal sponsorship or a work visa.
From the end of the transition period they will introduce a single, consistent and firmer approach to criminality across the immigration system. They will apply this to everyone seeking to come to the UK, wherever they are from. Currently, EU citizens are subject to different thresholds for criminality than those from the rest of the world. Existing UK rules for non-EU citizens are both stricter and more specific. The application of the current EU public policy test is less certain and predictable in practice than we would like.