Government announces new UK points-based immigration system: industry reactions


The Government has set out its plans for a new points-based immigration system to come into force at the start of 2021. The new system aims to end freedom of movement and reform the UK’s immigration policy…

In a statement, the Government said it would be repealing laws surrounding freedom of movement and that a new Immigration Bill will be introduced. You can see the Government’s full announcement here

Both EU and non-EU citizens will have to gain 70 points under the new system to be eligible to apply for a visa.

The three key requirements which have to be met are:

  • Have a job offer from an approved sponsor, such as an employer cleared by the Home Office (which earns 20 points).
  • Have a job offer that is at a “required skill level” (20 points).
  • They can speak English to a certain level (10 points).

Other points can be awarded for certain qualifications and if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

The salary threshold will be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600 for those coming to the UK with a job offer. If an applicant earns less than the required minimum salary threshold – but no less than £20,480 – they may still be able to come to the UK if they have a job offer in a specific occupation which appears on the Government’s jobs shortage list.

The MIA are members of the Creative Industries Federation, who have responded to the UK government’s policy statement on the UK’s future immigration system. They say: 

“The immigration system proposed by the government, for both long-term and temporary migration, is not the broad outward-facing system that is necessary to attract the international creative talent vital to our sector.”

“We continue to call on government to implement a flexible points-based system, which supports the growth of our  £111.7 billion creative industries and maintains the UK’s position on the world stage.  Government must engage closely with industry prior to implementing these proposed changes.”

You can read the full statement here –

Our partners at the ISM have also responded to the announcement.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:

“The value of the creative industries has been proven once again by the Government’s own figures – growing at more than five times the rate of the wider UK economy and generating almost £13m per hour. The creative industries are worth in excess of £111bn per annum.

We are deeply disappointed that free movement for musicians and other artists from the EU has been ruled out and we would ask the UK Government to reconsider our call for a two-year, multi-entry visa.

As the former Minister of State in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nigel Adams MP said last month, “touring is absolutely the lifeblood of the industry”. This latest development will mean that artists visiting the UK from the EU for work will need to apply for visas, including Tier 5, or pursue a route for short-term business visitors such as the discredited Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE).

Any future immigration system does not exist in isolation and has huge implications for the negotiation of EU and US trade deals and reciprocal arrangements. It is vital that any immigration system supports musicians who will need to tour in the EU post-Brexit. We urge the Government to listen to the creative sector to ensure that the “broader unsponsored route” works to support the UK’s creative industries and those in the EU who together generate so much wealth for the UK.”

If you would like to support this work, have a look at the ISM’s free move create campaign; a campaign to protect freedom of movement for all those working in the creative industries post-Brexit. You can sign the petition and add your name to the thousands already supporting the campaign.