New uniform, easier UK visa norms from January 1: Priti Patel
The system will take effect from January 1, a day after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 21:28 IST
A new points-based immigration system that treats EU and non-EU citizens alike and creates new routes for talent and healthcare professionals to come and work in the UK was confirmed in a ministerial statement by home secretary Priti Patel on Monday.
The system will take effect from January 1, a day after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31. The statement confirms post-Brexit plans announced earlier by the Boris Johnson government, many of which are likely to be welcomed by Indian professionals.
Chair of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) UK India Business Forum, Jim Bligh said: “Indian businesses welcome the UK’s new points-based immigration. It’s positive that the UK is seeking to attract highly-skilled nationals from across the world, regardless of nationality”.
“Across all sectors, Indian businesses bring in highly skilled nationals from around the world to help UK plc grow and compete. From high tech to haute cuisine, engineering to drug design, a smooth, skills-focused immigration system should help Indian companies across the economy to flourish in Britain in the years ahead”, he added.
The immigration routes described by officials as “new, simplified”, include a new Health and Care Visa for key health professionals will make it easier and cheaper for health professionals to work in the UK; a new graduate route opening in Summer 2021 will allow international students to stay in the UK once they have successfully completed their studies: students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees will be able to stay for two years and those who have completed PhD can stay for three years; and the Global Talent Scheme will allow highly-skilled scientists and researchers to come to the UK without a job offer.
Patel said: “The British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system. Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from January 1, 2021”.
“Britain is open for business and ready to welcome the best and brightest global talent”, she added.
The details announced by the Home Office are expected to give British employers the time to prepare and the new immigration system will be implemented in phases to ensure smooth delivery.
The new system will require those applying via the skilled worker route to accrue points by meeting a number of relevant criteria, such as have a job offer at the appropriate skill level, the ability to speak English and meeting the salary threshold.
The system will also expand the skills threshold. An applicant’s job must be at the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system. This will provide greater flexibility and ensure UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers, officials added.