Millennium Post

UK unveils tougher post-Brexit immigration plans

London: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday unveiled a major post-Brexit overhaul of the UK's immigration system, which she said is aimed at a level playing field for nationals from all countries by ending "freedom of movement once and for all" for European Union (EU) citizens.

Indians may benefit from the new rules, which will focus on highly-skilled migration as opposed to low-skilled workers, but an added obligation on companies being required to sponsor families of such high-skilled professionals may prove a hurdle in the long term.

"When we leave (the EU) we will bring in a new immigration system that ends freedom of movement once and for all. For the first time in decades, it will be this country that controls and chooses who we want to come here," May said in a statement.

"It will be a skills-based system where it is workers' skills that matter, not where they come from. It will be a system that looks across the globe and attracts the people with the skills we need, she said.

"The UK government said the new so-called skills-based system will make sure low-skilled immigration is brought down and set the UK on the path to reduce immigration to sustainable levels," a key manifesto pledge of the ruling Conservative Party.

The new regime, details of which are yet to be fully specified, is expected to be in place by 2021 once the transition period for Britain's exit from the EU is complete.

Under rules for skilled workers, applicants will continue to be required to meet a minimum salary threshold, which may be hiked further, and have their families sponsored by their future employers.

"Successful applicants for high skilled work would be able to bring their immediate family but only if sponsored by their future employers," the government statement noted.

There are also plans to introduce in-country security checks to be carried out to make operations faster at passport control at the borders, a similar system of prior authorisation currently operated by the US. pti

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