"Today is a historic moment for the whole country."
The UK’s new points-based visa and immigration system, aimed at attracting the “brightest and the best from the world” starts on January 1, 2021.
Applications opened on December 1, 2020.
Under the new system, the European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens, such as Indians will be treated equally.
The new system is based on assigning points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions. UK visas will only be awarded to those who gain enough points.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the government has delivered on the promise to end free movement, take back control of the UK’s borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system.
She said: “Today is a historic moment for the whole country.
“We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down.
“This simple, effective and flexible system will ensure employers can recruit the skilled workers they need, whilst also encouraging employers to train and invest in the UK’s workforce.
“We are also opening routes for those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture.”
Here is how the points-based system will work and how it may affect Indians.
The new system will prove to be advantageous for India’s skilled workers and students.
As Indians will now be treated equally with EU citizens, the new system factors in skills and qualifications.
The system approves applicants whose salary is below a determined ‘going rate’ for their occupation. It also approves a general salary of £25,600.
Applicants can qualify for entry if they have advanced qualifications in their field, or want to work in industries with a shortage of workers.
A decision on an application is made within three weeks.
Applicants need to have enough money to cover the application fee which will range between £610 and £1,408, as well as a healthcare surcharge (typically £624 per year) and be able to support themselves.
The Skilled Worker visa lasts for up to five years before it needs to be extended.
There are other routes available such as the Global Talent Visa, which is for those who show they have exceptional talent or promise in science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture.
It will be open to those looking to establish a UK business based on an innovative, viable and scalable business idea.
This is for those looking to create a UK-based business for the first time.
Intra-company Transfer Visa
This is for established workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a “skilled role” in the UK.
To be considered, applicants must:
- Have a job offer from an approved sponsor
- Have a job that is deemed to be sufficiently skilled
- Speak English
Applicants must also earn enough points through three additional criteria:
- Education level
- How their salary compares with the going rate for the field in which they wish to work
- Whether there is a shortage of workers in their field
To qualify for entry, applicants must score 70 points or more. Points are allocated based on the criteria.
- 20 points are allocated to applicants for getting a job offer from an approved sponsor.
- 20 points are awarded for the job offer to of the applicants’ skill level.
- Being able to speak English at the required level carries 10 points.
Applicants must gain the 50 mandatory points before gaining a further 20.
- Above going rate (1) for occupation, or over £ 25,600 (2) (whichever is higher) is worth 20 points.
- Up to 10% below going rate, or up to 10% below £ 25,600 (whichever is higher) carries 10 points.
- 10-20% below going rate, or 10-20% below £ 25,600 (whichever is higher is worth 0 points.
This new system means that the best and brightest of India can make their way to the UK as skilled workers.
This, in turn, will drive productivity and improve opportunities for individuals, especially those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indian workers and students have welcomed the new points-based scheme as they will be equal to workers from the EU.