Jersey is proposing laws that will allow the Crown Dependency to create exceptions to the stricter UK post-Brexit immigration regime that has been announced by London.
Under the new rules, the UK will operate a points-based immigration system. This means that to work in the UK, most foreign nationals will need to earn at least £25,600 a year to meet the salary requirements for a Tier 2 Work Visa. Foreigners will also be assessed on their English skills and must have a job offer from an approved employer
As this will impact Jersey's economy, Chief Minister John Le Fondré has tabled a proposition to update the Island's immigration laws in preparation for the new regime and to provide extended powers to the Home Affairs Minister, as the Jersey Evening Post reported.
The idea is that the Home Affairs Minister, currently Constable Len Norman, would have powers to ‘carve out' exceptions for certain industries which rely on immigrant labour, such as agriculture and hospitality.
"In relation to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 provides for the ending of free movement," the Chief Minister said in his proposition.
"In January 2020 a report by the Law Commission was presented to the UK parliament. It recommended that the immigration rules be overhauled and simplified.
"The Home Office has acted on this recommendation and is in the process of redrafting the immigration rules ahead of implementing its new points-based immigration system from January 2021."
The new immigration system will not apply to EU citizens already living in the UK by December 31, 2020.