UK to attract more professional immigrants with new points-based system

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UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday introduced a new points-based immigration system that will give top priorities to the citizens with highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, innovators, and academics from the European Union as well as those beyond it.

The new system takes effect from January 1, 2021, according to an official release. The new pointers in the immigration system will ensure that the UK continues to attract the brightest and the best from around the world, including India.

“Today is a historic moment for the whole country. We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential,” Patel said.

The new points-based immigration system will award points for specific skills, professions, salaries or qualifications/attributes, and visas will be awarded to those who gain sufficient points. The system will provide simple, effective, and flexible arrangements for skilled workers to come to the UK.

As per the new system, the minimum general salary threshold will be reduced to £25,600 (approximately Rs23.8 lakh), down from the previously proposed £30,000.

The Home Secretary will also announce a reformed Global Talent route. This will include a new fast-track scheme for world-leading scientists, top researchers, and mathematicians to come to the UK. This will run alongside the Points-Based Immigration System and will allow a small number of highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer, the release added.

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These developments come on the back of the UK’s Graduate route announcement, which will allow eligible international students – including those from India – to stay in the UK for two years after completing their studies to work or look for work.

The new graduate route will be introduced from the summer of 2021. There continues to be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study.

Indian nationals continue to receive more skilled work visas than the rest of the world combined, accounting for 52 per cent of all Tier 2 visas granted globally last year.

Over half a million UK visit visas were issued to Indians in 2019, up almost 10 per cent from the previous year. Tier 4 student visa numbers also increased by 63 per cent last year – almost four times faster than the percentage increase globally.

(With inputs from ANI)

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