What would an Australian Points Based System look like in the UK?

Boris Johnson, conservative MP, who is a candidate for Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader, has recently spoken about his stance on immigration and the call for a change.

Stating the following:

“It is right to go for an Australian style points-based system so that the needs of the UK economy can be met”

Further stating that “What I would like to do is get the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to look really properly at the Australian-style points-based system”.

The MAC is an independent body that advises the government. Control the UKs border played a crucial role in the ‘Leave campaign’ for which Boris was a strong supporter.

What is the Australian System?

 So, what does the Australian system entail and how does it differ to that of the UK?

Those who want to move to Australia to work will in turn need to be pursuing an occupation that is in demand. Applicants are awarded points based on a few professional and personal attributes, with higher points being awarded for more desirable traits. This can range from the following; the amount of time they have worked in a skilled sector, education level, age, and proficiency in the English language. English language knowledge for instance- is a minimum requirement, however you can earn an extra 20 points if you possess ‘superior English knowledge. Those aged between 25 and 33 years old will also get 30 points. The threshold for eligibility is 65 points.

By contrast, at present the EU national currently in the UK do not require a visa to work – benefit from the EU’s “free movement”- although this is with capped limits on certain benefits. For those from outside the EU, there UK Points based system is similar in some ways to the Australian system.

Points are awarded for being proficient in English and, being sponsored by a company and meeting a salary threshold.

The UK government also put a cap on the number of work visas awarded a year – the cap is set at around 21,000 a year but isn’t often met. The UK system, however doesn’t assess the individuals for things like their age and qualifications. The UK system, rather relies on the employer to decide whether the person is qualified to do the job, while the Australian system is more centrally planned.”

Mr Johnson however, has not honed in on the finer details of what aspects of the Australian system he is keen to adopt, rather stating that he would ask the MAC to investigate it. Moreover he has not detailed what his policies would be for those wanting to come for other reasons such as studying or those who wish to join family members already living in the UK.