The Home Office will today set out plans to bring net migration down to what the department called "sustainable levels" after Brexit through the introduction of a new earnings threshold.
Home secretary Sajid Javid will today publish an immigration white paper setting out the vision for how the system will operate in the future, but he said there would be further consultation on the exact salary threshold for migrants seeking to enter the UK.
It is expected that the £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold that is already imposed on non-EU workers looking to come to the UK will also apply to migrants from the EU once the UK leaves the bloc, although Javid said he would further consult on the figure.
Speaking in advance of its unveiling, Javid said: "We are delivering on the clear instruction to get control over our borders and will bring in a new system that works in the interest of the British people.
"It will be a single, skills-based immigration system built around the talent and expertise people can bring, rather than where they come from – maximising the benefits of immigration and demonstrating the UK is open for business."
At the moment, anyone from the EU is free to live and work in the UK. But under the new system, a visa will be introduced for skilled workers, while the present cap on the number of high-skilled professions such as doctors and engineers will be lifted entirely.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Javid said that the expected £30,000 threshold would be “discussed further”.
“We are not setting the exact threshold today. There will be a threshold. The MAC [migration advisory committee] suggested it should be £30,000,” he said.
“While that is their view … it is equally important to listen to business and find the right threshold. So we will be setting out today, we shall consult further on whether it is £30,000 or thereabouts.”
Javid referred to his own background as he set out the plan. “Immigration is good for our country. It has made us stronger in countless ways. I am a second-generation migrant myself and if I look at people such as my parents I can see how they have helped this country in so many ways,” he said.