December 19, 2018 / 3:42 PM / 8 months ago

Factbox - Britain's post-Brexit immigration plans

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government set out its biggest overhaul of immigration in decades on Wednesday, publishing a long-awaited policy paper on how it intends to approach the issue after it exits the European Union.

Miniature models of people are pictured in front of the European Union and UK flags in this photo illustration taken June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Below are key measures in the document:

OVERVIEW:

- the new system will apply to EU and non-EU citizens

- it will prioritise skilled migrants

- it will come into force after Britain’s planned post-Brexit implementation period, due to end in December 2020

- there is no target, but a pledge to reduce annual net migration to “sustainable levels”

- Britain will introduce an Electronic Travel Authorisation system similar to the United State’s ESTA scheme

- Irish nationals will not need visas

- EU citizens will not need visas for tourist visits up to six months

SKILLED WORKER SCHEME

- no cap on numbers

- workers will need an employer to sponsor them

- they will be allowed to bring dependents, extend their stay and in some cases settle permanently

- employers will no longer be required to carry out a resident labour market test

- this visa will be subject to a minimum salary threshold, to be set in consultation with businesses over the next year

- where there are specific skills shortages, the minimum salary threshold may be lowered

- the government will aim to process most work visas within three weeks

TEMPORARY WORKER SCHEME

- transitional measure, which will be reviewed by 2025

- open to workers of any skill level from “low risk” countries, including the EU

- limited to 12 months, followed by a further 12-month “cooling off” period to continuous work

- these workers will not be allowed to bring dependents or access public funds

- they will not be entitled to extend their stay or seek permanent settlement

- do not have to be sponsored by an employer or have a job offer

SECTOR-SPECIFIC SCHEMES

- no plans for such schemes, with the possible exception of seasonal agricultural workers

- a small-scale pilot scheme for agricultural workers will be run in 2019

STUDENTS

- no limit on numbers of international students

- will be allowed to stay in Britain for a fixed period after they have finished studying in order to find work: six months for undergraduate and masters students and a year for PhD students

EU CITIZENS ALREADY IN BRITAIN

- will need to apply for settled status

- need to have been living in the UK continuously for five years to be eligible

- those who arrive before the end of the implementation period but have not been in Britain for five years can apply for pre-settled status so they can stay until they have accumulated five years

- the settlement scheme will be open until six months after the end of the implementation period

Compiled by Kylie MacLellan; editing by John Stonestreet

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