On 19 December, government published its long-awaited immigration white paper, which sets out a framework for the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system. It is to be phased in during 2021, after the Brexit implementation period, though this is dependent on the ratification of the withdrawal agreement by parliament. The paper outlines the introduction of a new single immigration system based on skills with no preferential treatment for EU nationals, ending the free movement of people between the UK and EU.

Headline proposals include: removing the existing cap on international highly-skilled workers such as doctors and engineers; undertaking a consultation on the minimum salary threshold for skilled workers, currently set at £30,000; removing limits on international students and improving the post-study visa environment; and providing visa-free entry for EU visitors. A key aspect of AMRC’s Brexit position is advocating for an immigration system that works for science and research.

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