The Changing Landscape: An Overview of Recent UK Immigration Policy Changes

An Introduction to the Topic

Over the past few years, the United Kingdom has been making significant changes to its immigration policy. The rules and regulations that govern who can enter the country, and how they can live and work there, have changed dramatically. These changes have had an immense impact on individuals, families, and businesses both within the UK and abroad. In this article, we will take a closer look at the various policy changes that have taken place, explore their implications, and consider some of the ways in which people have adapted to them.

The Brexit Effect

One of the most significant drivers of change in UK immigration policy has been the country’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). As an EU member, the UK was bound by certain freedom of movement laws that allowed EU citizens to travel and work within its borders without special visas or permits. However, following the Brexit referendum in 2016, the UK began the process of untangling itself from the EU, and this has had a profound impact on immigration policy.

One of the biggest changes has been the scrapping of the EU Settlement Scheme, which offered a path to permanent residency for EU nationals living in the UK. Under the new system, EU citizens must apply for a specific visa or work permit that reflects their individual circumstances. This means that many people who have lived and worked in the UK for years, even decades, now face the possibility of being forced to leave.

The Points-Based System

Another major development in UK immigration policy has been the introduction of a points-based system for work visas. Under the previous system, employers could bring in workers from outside the EU under a range of different schemes, depending on their qualifications and job roles. While this system had some benefits, it was criticized for being overly complex and difficult to navigate.

The new points-based system, which was launched in December 2020, seeks to simplify and streamline the process. It assigns points to applicants based on factors such as their level of education, their English language skills, and their salary. Those who meet the required threshold of points can then apply for a work visa.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Like many other countries, the UK has also had to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigration policy. In March 2020, the government put a temporary halt on most visa applications in an effort to control the spread of the virus. This meant that many people who had been hoping to move to the UK were left in limbo.

Since then, the situation has eased somewhat, with the introduction of various COVID-secure measures to allow applications to be processed more safely. However, the pandemic continues to have an impact on the UK’s immigration policy, with changes and updates happening regularly.

The Human Impact

While it’s important to understand the technical details of UK immigration policy changes, it’s also crucial to consider the human impact of these changes. For many individuals and families, the shifting rules and regulations have caused immense stress and uncertainty. People who have built their lives in the UK, or who have been hoping to start a new life there, have been left in a state of limbo, unsure of what the future holds.

Despite these challenges, however, many people have found ways to adapt and overcome. Some have sought out new visa options that allow them to remain in the UK, while others have chosen to explore new opportunities in different countries. And for those who are still navigating the complex world of UK immigration, there are resources and support available to help them through the process.


As the UK continues to navigate the complexities of immigration policy in the wake of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that change will remain a constant. However, by staying informed and working together, individuals, families, and businesses can adapt to these changes and build new paths forward. Whether you are a UK citizen, an EU national, or someone hoping to move to the UK from abroad, there is always hope and opportunity to be found. Uncover more information about the subject by checking out this recommended external website. apply for british citizenship!

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The Changing Landscape: An Overview of Recent UK Immigration Policy Changes 1