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UK Rolls Out New Rules To Qualify For Visa

Britain's new "points-based immigration system" would assess prospective immigrants on a range of skills, qualifications, salaries or professions.
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UK's Rolls Out New Rules To Qualify For Visa
UK’s Rolls Out New Rules To Qualify For Visa

The United Kingdom Government has rolled out a new points-based immigration system which favours skilled workers.

People moving to the UK will need to speak English and already have work lined up under a new points-based immigration system.

The government has set out a new Immigration Bill that will come into force on January 1 2021, marking the end of free movement.

UK Rolls Out New Immigration System To Favour 'Skilled Migrants'
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

Migrants will now have to gain 70 points to be eligible for a visa, in aims of creating a ‘high wage, high skill, high productivity economy’ in the UK, a statement said.

It continued: ‘For too long, distorted by European free movement rights, the immigration system has been failing to meet the needs of the British people. Our approach will change all of this.’

In the system, EU or non-EU citizens will be awarded 10 points straight away if they can speak English to a certain level.

A job offer from an approved sponsor, such as an employer cleared by the Home Office, and a job at a ‘required skill level’ will then earn them 20 points each.

Other points could be awarded for certain qualifications and whether there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

For those moving with a job offer, the salary threshold will be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600 – but workers who earn above £20,480 can move to the UK if they have a job offer on the government’s job shortage list, or a relevant PhD.

This means low-earners, such as nurses, may be able to get visas due to shortages of staff. Highly-skilled workers, such as scientists, technology or maths professionals, can also move without a job offer, so long as they are endorsed by a ‘relevant and competent body’.

However, there will be no temporary or general visa options for low-skilled migrants.

The policy stated: ‘UK businesses will need to adapt and adjust to the end of free movement, and we will not seek to recreate the outcomes from free movement within the points-based system.

‘As such, it is important that employers move away from a reliance on the UK’s immigration system as an alternative to investment in staff retention, productivity, and wider investment in technology and automation.’

It is estimated that around 70% of the EU workforce currently living in the UK would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route.

A pilot scheme for seasonal workers in agriculture will be quadrupled from 2,500 to 10,000 places, while youth mobility arrangements with eight countries will continue.

They currently result in around 20,000 young people coming to the UK each year. Students wishing to come to the UK will need to be able to speak English, support themselves through their studies and have an offer from an approved educational institution.

Current arrangements for specialist occupations such as religious ministers, artists, musicians and entertainers are expected to broadly remain the same and be extended for EU citizens.

Self-employed and freelance workers can also continue to apply for visas under existing rules and will not need to be sponsored.

Visitors, including EU citizens, will be able to come to the UK without a visa for six months, but are not allowed to work in that time.

Asylum applications fall outside the points-based system and are expected to operate under existing rules.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the system as a ‘historic moment for the whole country’ which will help ‘unleash’ the UK’s ‘full potential’.

Source: Metro UK

Adelowo Adegboyega
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