Nigel Farage is to outline details of UKIP’s points-based immigration policy later.
The Australian-style system will be complemented by a new quango – a Migration Control Commission – whose job will be to cut net migration to the UK.
In a speech in London, the UKIP leader will also announce that he will increase UK border staff by 2,500 if his party wins the General Election.
Mr Farage will unveil his policy blueprint on the issue he hopes will be UKIP’s biggest vote-winner just days after the party failed to get its manifesto ready in time for its spring conference.
But apart from the commission on migration, many of the proposals are not new. Most have been announced previously by Mr Farage or senior colleagues over the past year.
The UKIP leader has chosen to speak about immigration following the Conservatives’ embarrassment last week over its failure to honour David Cameron’s pledge to cut net migration to tens of thousands.
In his speech, to be delivered to party activists in central London, Mr Farage is expected to say: “The British public has acknowledged that they can’t trust the other parties to be serious on immigration.
“Despite Mr Cameron’s pledge, net migration is now up to 300,000 people per year. It is unsustainable, unfair and unethical.
“That’s why UKIP has developed a policy focused around an Australian-style, points-based system, led by a newly formed Migration Control Commission, tasked with bringing numbers down, and focusing on highly-skilled migrants and our Commonwealth friends – as opposed to the low-skilled, Eastern European migration that the Tories and Labour have expanded.”
In Australia, migrants are required to answer a series of questions about their skills, for which they are awarded points.
Applicants need at least 65 points or their request for a visa is rejected.
Despite establishing a visa system based on this premise, Mr Farage will say UKIP would ensure the right number of highly skilled workers from across the globe are able to enter the UK.
As well as increasing Border Agency staff by 2,500, officers would be employed in a new division outside of the current management structure.
UKIP proposes an “ethical” visa system for work, and abolition of current rules discriminating EU citizens from non-EU citizens.
Under UKIP’s policy, upon qualifying on the points-based system, highly skilled workers would be issued with a visa valid for up to five years.
Those who qualified would, after five years, be permitted to apply for permanent leave to remain, provided they had obeyed the law.
But they would be expected to have health insurance to cover their five years and not be entitled to claim any UK benefit.
For unskilled workers, there would be a moratorium for five years, while there would be no amnesty on illegal immigration.
A government annual review would monitor the policy.
In his spring conference speech last Friday, Mr Farage urged his party to start striking a positive tone about the immigration debate.
But only hours earlier, some of his party spokesmen linked people coming to Britain to strains on food supplies, water and even the sewage system.