Britain imposes new restrictions for Finns who want to work in UK

The rules favour highly educated people in well paid jobs, and have been described as damaging by opposition politicians.

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File picture of UK and Finnish flags / Credit: iStock

The British Government has raised the bar on Finns – and other Europeans – who want to move to the UK after Brexit.

From January next year, anyone from the European Union will need to meet strict new criteria before they’ll get approval to live and work in Britain.

“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down” says Britain’s Interior Minister Priti Patel.

Points will be awarded to visa applicants for specific skills, qualifications or professions, and visas will only be given to people who get enough points.

Opposition politicians say the new rules will have a deeply damaging impact on many parts of the economy.

“Tory immigration policy is offensive in principle – it labels vital workers, making a big contribution as ‘low skilled’ and slams the door in their faces” says Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

What do the new rules mean for Finns?

From 1st January 2021 any Finns who want to go to the UK will have to meet some new basic requirements, and attain a minimum of 70 points.

In future, Finns would need:

  • A firm job offer from an approved employer/sponsor – 20 points
  • A job at the appropriate skill level – 20 points
  • Speak English to a specific level – 10 points
  • Minimum salary of £20,480 – £23,599 – 0 points
  • Salary of £23,040 – £25,599 – 10 points
  • Salary of £25,600 and above – 20 points
  • Job in an occupation where there’s a shortage of staff – 20 points
  • PhD qualification in a relevant subject: 10 points
  • PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths: 20 points

Writing on Twitter, a UK-based Finnish writer Emmi Itaranta says that this new system “leads to a shortage of labour in low-wage sectors such as healthcare, but also affects the lives of artists and the cultural sector with an irregular income”

“Under these conditions, I would have nothing to do with Britain” she adds.

Finns will also no longer be able to travel to UK using just their ID card, from January they will have to take a passport as proof of identity to get into the UK for holidays or business trips.