Explained: UK’s points-based visa system and how it could prove advantageous to India
The UK’s new points-based immigration system went live on Tuesday under which the European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens, like Indians, will be treated equally. The government has said that the new visa system is aimed at attracting the “brightest and the best” around the world and cutting down on cheap, low-skilled labour.
There are several routes available for people to get the UK visa, including skilled worker route, global talent route, graduate route, and intra-company transfer, among others. Although the applications under the new system are now open, people on the new skilled worker visa will be able to live and work in the United Kingdom from January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period ends.
UK home secretary Priti Patel said that the government has delivered on the promise to end free movement, take back control of the country’s borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system. “Today, we have delivered on that promise. Our points-based immigration system is now live,” tweeted Patel on Tuesday.
The new system could prove advantageous to India’s skilled workers and students since they will be treated on par with EU citizens. In July, British high commissioner to India, Sir Philip Barton, had said that the points-based immigration system levels the playing field globally, and will be an advantage to countries like India.
Here’s how the points system work:
Under the new system, points will be assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. A minimum of 70 points is required to be eligible to apply, of which some are tradeable. The points-based system gives priority to the greatest talents across the globe, including scientist, engineers and academics.
The applicants through skilled visa route should have a job offer by an approved sponsor for the appropriate skill level. They should also speak English at the required level. These mandatory requirements make up for 50 points, and the applicants should manage another 20 points through other characteristics required for the visa, which are tradeable.
The global talent route is a fast-track visa system to attract the world’s top scientists, researchers and mathematicians. As of November 2020, the government has provided a list of approved endorsing bodies which include The Royal Society, for science and medicine, The Royal Academy of Engineering, for engineering, and The British Academy, for humanities.
Student visa routes will also be points-based and those willing to study in the United Kingdom will have to show an offer from an approved educational institution. They also have to show that they can speak English and can support themselves financially.
The government has made available a graduate visa route to international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021. This route will enable those students to remain in the UK and work at any skill level for two years after they have completed their studies.
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- US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said the US is committed to consulting closely with the Afghan government, NATO allies and regional partners on a collective strategy to support a stable, sovereign, and secure future for the country.