UK seeks info on Aust immigration system

BRITAIN'S Home Secretary has asked advisers to review how an Australian-style points-based immigration system could be introduced in Britain.

Priti Patel has written to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which gives the government independent guidance on immigration policy.

In a letter to its chairman Professor Alan Manning, she asked the committee to report back by January.

The letter said: "The British public have been clear that they want an immigration system that takes back control of our borders while welcoming aspirational and hard-working people to enhance the UK's dynamic labour market and diverse society.

"This government is working on making that a reality."

In June, her predecessor Sajid Javid commissioned the MAC to consider salary thresholds for future immigration systems.

As part of this ongoing work, Patel also wants the committee to review the Australian immigration system - and others similar - "to advise on what best practice can be used to strengthen the UK labour market and attract the best and brightest from around the world".

She said: "In setting out this government's vision of our future immigration system, the prime minister and I have been clear that we strongly believe in the benefits of migration.

"When it is managed, migration works in the national interest, for our communities, economy and country.

"We are seizing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of our exit from the European Union and the end of freedom of movement.

"In future, we will replace the current dual system - which admits highly skilled workers from outside the EU and workers of all skill levels from within the EU - with a single, skills-based system that welcomes to the UK the people who will contribute, but that enables us to control migration.

"My vision is to have an immigration system that people can have confidence in.

"A system where it is workers' skills and talents that matter and not where they come from. A system which is simpler, smarter and built for the needs of the 21st century."

She said the "revised commission reflects the government's vision and overarching principles of the future UK immigration system: that it must be fair to those in the UK and those coming here; and allow for full control over our borders and immigration to the UK."

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