The British government has outlined a new immigration system to manage the flow of workers into the UK and replace existing rules from 1 January 2021, when the country will no longer be subject to European Union regulations.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Common Travel Area will not be affected post Brexit.

The Common Travel Area, which pre-dates both Ireland and the UK's EU membership, allows Irish and British citizens to move freely and reside in either jurisdiction.

Here are details of the points-based system that will be applied under the new system:

Skilled Workers

EU and non-EU workers will be assessed by the same system to determine whether they can enter the UK to work. There will be no cap on the number of people who can qualify under the scheme.

The system will allow workers whose salary is below a determined 'going rate' (1) for their occupation, or a general £25,600 (€30,800) minimum, to still qualify for entry if they have advanced qualifications in their field, or want to work in an industry where there is a shortage of workers.

There are three mandatory criteria (50 points total)

1. Have a job offer from an approved sponsor

2. The job offer is at the required skill level

3. Speak English

In addition to these mandatory criteria, applicants must earn enough points through three additional criteria:

1. Education level

2. How their salary compares to the going rate for the field in which they wish to work

3. Whether there is a shortage of workers in their field.

To qualify for entry, an applicant must score 70 points or more.

Points are allocated as below:

The British government said that further criteria could be added as the system develops, such as age or experience.

  • The 'going rate' is an occupation-specific salary threshold. The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended this is set at the 25th percentile of the full-time annual earnings distribution for that occupation. Some industries will use different measures.
  • £25,600 (€30,800) is the general salary threshold
  • Shortage occupations will be determined by the Migration Advisory Committee.
  • STEM subjects are science, technology, engineering and mathematics.