Connecticut, US

Sep 18 2018

Migration Advisory Committee Publishes Final Report on Impact of EU Migration in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The situation

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s report recommends that post Brexit, the UK government focus on facilitating highly-skilled migration and influencing the flow of EU migrants through salary thresholds and skills charges rather than through hard caps and quotas.

A closer look

Other key recommendations include:

  • Ensuring there is no preferential treatment for EU migrants in the United Kingdom post-Brexit as compared to non-EU nationals;
  • Eliminating the Tier 2 (General) cap, currently set at 20,700 per annum;
  • Opening the Tier 2 (General) scheme to medium-skilled jobs;
  • Maintaining the Tier 2 minimum salary thresholds;
  • Expanding the shortage occupations list to meet current needs;
  • Ensuring the Immigration Skills Charge also applies to EU citizens and that it is subject to periodic review;
  • Eliminating the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) or adjustments to the salary threshold exemptions – lowering the salary levels required to qualify for an exemption from the RLMT;
  • Relaxing the rules for migrant workers seeking to change employers;
  • Not creating an explicit work migration route for low-skilled workers or sector-based schemes (except Seasonal Agricultural Workers); and
  • Expanding the Tier 5 Youth Mobility scheme rather than employer-led sector-based routes.

Post-Brexit system

The report states that the United Kingdom should be focusing on enabling higher-skilled migration alongside a more restrictive policy on lower-skilled migration.

The MAC concluded that there is no compelling reason why immigration policies should not be the same for EU and non-EU citizens, unless the outcome of Brexit negotiations requires it.


This is the final report following the MAC’s March 2018 interim report.

Although there is no immediate impact on employers and foreign nationals in the United Kingdom, the MAC’s findings will have a tangible impact on the way the UK immigration system is shaped as it advises the UK government in its policy-making decisions.

Looking ahead

The UK government is expected to consider the MAC’s findings and announce further plans for post-Brexit migration policy in the coming months.

For more information, please visit Fragomen’s dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].