The United Kingdom has altered immigration laws and these changes made to the policies will make it much more difficult for South Africans hoping to emigrate to the UK, specifically those who are going for work.
Expected to come into effect from January 1, 2021, the new policy essentially results in closed borders to those who are not fluent in English and are considered low-skill or unskilled. In an interview with the BBC, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government’s goal is to attract the right skills to the UK.
In order to ensure hopeful immigrants are up to the standards that they desire, they have set up a points system in which a candidate must acquire 70 out of 130 points.
50 of the 70 points are made up of three essential requirements: offer of a job by an approved sponsor (20 points), a job at an appropriate skill level – which requires you to be paid a certain amount (20 points), and the ability to speak English at a specified level (10 points).
To gain the added 20 points, a candidate must fulfil one of the other non-essential requirements. These include: a job in a designated shortage occupation (20 points), a PhD in the subject relevant to their job (10 points), or a PhD in a Stem subject relevant to their job (20 points).
The amount of money you will make can also count towards your points. If you will earn between R447 839 – R497 579 (£23,040 – £25,599) per year you’ll get 10 points and if you earn above that you’ll get 20 points. Anything below gets you 0 points.
The routes for cheap labour and self-employed people are now closed.
Marisa Jacobs, the Director and Head of Immigration and Mobility at Xpatweb, a company which specialises in work permits and emigration solutions, told Cape Talk that social care workers are severely affected by this change.
“Most earn below the threshold, it’ll be impossible for them to get a permit”, she said. According to Jacobs, those in the construction industry, healthcare assistants, and porters will no longer qualify for resident’s permits in the UK.
For those hoping to earn some pounds by waitering, au pairing or by doing any similar jobs, this will no longer be possible.
Some of the professions on the critical skills list includes secondary education teachers, nurses, paramedics, graphic designers, and chefs.