UK Screen Alliance Takes Shots at the Conservatives Points-Based Immigration Policy


The UK Screen Alliance has criticised Boris Johnson’s restrictions on EU immigration after Brexit. According to the new Australian-style points-based system, low-skilled migrants would have to leave the country as soon as their previous visas expire, and high-skilled workers would have to meet the stringent criteria.


UK Screen commented that the Conservatives’ latest announcement on the immigration policy ‘offered little comfort’ to the UK businesses that have a hard time recruiting workers and competing on the global scale. The Alliance offers the visual effects (VFX) industry as an example.


The current Tier 2 visa implies a minimum salary of £30,000. Based on the Screen Alliance estimates, this restriction would set the British VFX industry back at an extra £20 million per year. This translates into a 5.5% rise in payroll expenses.


Salary is a dubious indicator of skill, especially in creative industries. Quota restrictions may also hinder with the industry development, if applied. Moreover, a £1,000/year Immigration Skills Charge and the £625/year Health Surcharge would require a family of two adults and two children to shell out up to £22,500 for a five-year visa.


To recap, Boris Johnson explained his immigration policy to The Sunday Times and named three visa categories for migrants to the UK. These include:


  • Exceptional talents who will be granted a fast track to the UK with no job offer needed
  • Skilled workers (such as NHS personnel) who will require a job offer to enter
  • Low-skilled workers who would be provided short-term visas when and where there is a shortage.


Migrants from the first two categories would be able to stay in the UK on a permanent basis. 


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