U.K. Said to Prepare Migration Policy Favoring High Earners

(Bloomberg) -- Theresa May’s government is on the point of agreeing its post-Brexit immigration policy, after months of internal arguments over which applicants should be favored to enter the U.K.

Under the proposals, preference will be given to higher earners and people from favored nations. These are likely to be the countries whose citizens are currently allowed to use e-passports to enter Britain: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S. Javid has talked in the past about adding countries to that list if they agree trade deals with the U.K.

Some government departments are asking for tweaks to the plans. Sectors such as agriculture and hospitality rely on low-skilled labor forces. Meanwhile the Treasury has pointed out that tech entrepreneurs often have low salaries which might not pass the Home Office’s threshold, and has asked for stock options to be taken into account.

U.K. Said to Prepare Migration Policy Favoring High Earners

Home Secretary Sajid Javid first set out his proposals to Cabinet colleagues in September, with the goal of making them public shortly after that. After repeated delays, Javid and May have now agreed the policy, and it could be announced as early as Wednesday, according to
to two people familiar with the discussions, who asked not to be named.

May interpreted the 2016 vote to leave the European Union as a call for an end to unrestricted immigration from EU countries. She has also long been a supporter of the Tory policy of reducing net migration to below 100,000 a year.

Other proposals include:

  • EU Nationals will have to use a passport to enter the U.K. instead of an identity card
  • There will be no cap on highly-skilled migrants
  • Low-skilled migrants will be able to access short-term visas if they are from a country of low-risk of immigration abuse

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