Under the new proposed post-Brexit immigration rules thousands of low-skilled migrants could come to the UK to work for up to a year.
Expected to last until 2025, it is intended to protect parts of the economy reliant on overseas labour. However, groups such as Migration Watch described the idea as “shocking”.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the new system would be based on what the UK needs rather than where migrants were from and show the UK "open for business".
Unveiling what he said would be the biggest shake-up of immigration policy for 40 years, Mr Javid said that while there was no "specific target" for reducing numbers coming into the UK, net migration would come down to "sustainable levels".
The White Paper - a document setting out proposed new laws before they are formalised in a government bill - also contains the following amendments:
- Removing the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors, IT Specialists or engineers from the EU and elsewhere
- Reconsideration of the minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas
- Abolishing the requirement of EU visitors to obtain a visa Visitors from the EU will not need visas
- Plans to phase in the new system from 2021
Mr Javid states that the proposals would enable the UK to exercise control over its borders and "deliver on the clear instruction" of the British people when they voted to leave the EU.
A key part of Theresa May’s Brexit deal is the ending of free movement, however, any replacement system is set to be part of the post-Brexit trade talks.