The UK’s points-based
immigration system

The UK’s points-based immigration system will be introduced from 1st January 2021

The UK exited the EU on 31st January 2020 therefore, from 1st January 2021, free movement will end and the UK’s points-based system will be introduced.

The generous arrangements for tourists will continue, but with simplified rules and guidance. The EU citizens will be treated as non-visa nationals meaning they can continue to travel to the UK as visitors for six months without needing to obtain a visa.

Will need to obtain a visa people from any country in the world who plans to go to the UK for work or study purposes, other than some short-term business visitors and short-term students.  

Students will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and can support themselves during their studies in the UK.

Migrants must apply online and most EU citizens will use smartphone self-enrolment to enrol facial biometrics; initially, fingerprints will not be required. Non-EU citizens must apply biometrics as they do now, at a Visa Application Centre. All migrants will need to comply with the UK’s strict criminality rules.

Most EU citizens will be issued with an e-visa confirming their right to be in the UK. The online checking service will be used by EU citizens to demonstrate their immigration status and their rights and entitlements, where permitted when accessing work and services.

EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and will have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. As a transition measure, employers, landlords and public service providers will continue to accept the passports and national identity cards of EU citizens as evidence of permission during this period, up until 30 June 2021.

The UK intends to open key routes from Autumn 2020, so that migrants can start to apply ahead of the system taking effect in January 2021.

We encourage you to read the entire policy statement regarding the points-based immigration system published on GOV.UK on 19th February 2020.