New Plan for Immigration: Legal Migration and Border Control

Dear Colleague,

New Plan for Immigration: Legal Migration and Border Control

On 31 December 2020, freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and the European Union ended. The UK’s new global points-based immigration system is now in place ensuring we can attract the skills this country needs.

Today, the Government has published the New Plan for Immigration: Legal Migration and Border Control Strategy Statement.

This publication, which follows on from the Policy Statement and Further Details Statement published last year, sets out our plans to deliver truly transformational change to the UK’s border and immigration system.

Building on the success of the EU Settlement Scheme and the introduction of the points-based system, we will implement transformational change for everyone who interacts with the immigration system and crosses the border.

We are moving away from a complex system, reliant on people proving their rights through physical documents, sometimes decades old, to a streamlined system which is digital by default. Our goal is to achieve this by the end of 2024. This will make the system quicker, easier and in some cases safer for people applying to come to the UK, and proving their rights when in the UK.

We have already begun to lay the groundwork for wider reforms, including the future introduction of Electronic Travel Authorisations as part of the creation of a ‘universal permission to travel’ for everyone, except British and Irish citizens. Through upstream transformation to our border and immigration system, we will improve our ability to know more about people before they reach the UK border.

These reforms also support a wider package of interventions that make up the Government’s long-term approach to the labour market so we can ‘Build Back Better’ from the Covid-19 pandemic and support our economic recovery.

Through the new points-based system UK businesses can have access to talent we need from across the world and universities can attract the brightest and best minds to secure the UK’s reputation as forward thinkers and leaders in research and development. They will also allow us to continue to grow and prosper through the diversity and cultural richness a truly global immigration system promotes, whilst also ensuring policy on it is considered alongside, not separate to, our approach to the UK Labour Market.

Today’s publication, coupled with the New Plan for Immigration, which was published on 24 March to outline the Government’s approach in tackling illegal migration and the broken asylum system, provides a complete picture of the Government's plan to take back control of our borders and immigration system and deliver for the whole of the United Kingdom.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

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