UK Home Secretary Reveals New Points-Based Visa System

Priti Patel UK Home Secretary today revealed details of the UK’s new points-based visa system to attract the “brightest and best” in the world, including India, and reduce the number of cheap, low-skilled workers coming to the country.

The proposed system will come into effect from 1 January 2021 at the conclusion of the transition period following last month’s British departure from the European Union (EU), which will officially end the free movement of people as a non-member within the UK’s economic bloc.

The new post-Brexit scheme, which will equally apply to EU and non-EU countries such as India, is focused on awarding points for specific skills, credentials, wages, and occupations, with visas granted only to those who earn enough.

The UK Home Office states that the new system is a direct reaction to Brexit’s 2016 referendum, that was seen as a vote to change the country’s reliance on cheaper migrant labour, and to reducing overall migration rates with tighter security.

A fast-track visa, the Global Talent Scheme, will be in operation from Friday. It will also apply for next year’s EU citizens to enable highly qualified scientists and researchers to visit the UK without a job offer.

The government said the number of points for the new system will be carefully set to draw the expertise that the UK needs. To order to be able to work in the UK, skilled workers will have to meet a number of relevant standards like unique skills and the ability to speak English.

Seasonal Workers Pilot Extends Places List

All candidates expect to have a job offer. This is in line with the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The minimum wage requirement for Tier 2 work visas is at 25,600 pounds. It is lower than the previous standard of 30,000 pounds. The proposed point-based system will also increase the level of expertise for skilled workers.

Anyone looking to live and work in the UK needs to be eligible. It is up to A-level or equivalent under the current system, rather than degree-level. So, it will provide flexibility, and guarantee. It states that the UK business has access to a large pool of skilled workers, said the Home Office.

There will be no specific route for a low-skilled worker. It is n line with the manifesto commitment of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the December 2019 general election.

Student visa path is in points and opens from next year for EU citizens. Those who wish to study in the UK will have to demonstrate they have an offer. It is from an authorized educational institution. It states that they can financially support themselves and that they speak English.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot extend from 2,500 to 10,000 places. This is in time for the 2020 harvest to tackle the unique labour issues. It includes the agricultural sector dependent on EU seasonal workers. EU citizens and other non-visa holders do not need a visa to enter. It is for up to six months when they visit the UK.

But, the use of national identity cards for travel to the UK will be phased out. The Home Office emphasized on the post-Brexit offer. The EU citizens residing by December 31, 2020, can pertain to settle in the UK. This is through the Scheme until June 2021.


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