With a new Prime Minister in place, the UK is focused on cutting net migration. It is a reoccurring subject that has proved to be challenging to attain. The media in the UK have called for the country to introduce the “Australian Points System”, but few understand what it entails or how it differs from our existing Points Based System. Is it something the UK could adopt, or is a merger of the two concepts the real solution?
The UK System
The UK currently has a points-based system, but in reality, it doesn’t use a points system. However, specific criteria must be achieved. The points must be gained in a particular sector, and points can’t be picked up from other areas. The system has proved to be reasonably successful in controlling non-EU migration. The objective appears to be to maintain the system just to adjust it to cater for EU citizens after Brexit has been concluded.
The Australian System
The Australian system, like the current UK system, adopts a points-based process. Applicants are scored on a variety of criteria including, professional qualifications, English language skills, age and competency. If the applicant’s score enough points, they will be granted a visa – simple. Sponsorship from an employer is NOT required, and different backgrounds can be accepted. For example, an engineer with outstanding qualifications but low levels of English would probably be accepted. Visas are awarded on merit and a range of personal characteristics. The goal is to attract high skilled labour that will assimilate with the local community.
Why Does the UK Fear a Genuine Points Based System?
The common belief regarding this is that the system is used to attract quality labour rather than control net migration. When the policy is used to attract skilled labour, it has clear standards and actively encourages people from specific sectors to move to the country. However, the problem could be that it could harm controlling net migration. The current policy has seen a decline in the numbers of non-EU migrants coming to the UK, but a reversal is likely if the Australian system is adopted.
For Thais nationals looking to move to the UK, a move to a points system are likely to have little impact. As is the case at present, some people will be able to score points in areas and not in others. Potentially, it could give them a more significant opportunity to pick up points in other areas, although it is unlikely that it would make a dramatic difference.
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