New Delhi: British Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the launch of a new points-based visa system, with an aim to attract ‘the brightest and the best’ from the world, including India, and cut down on the number of cheap, low-skilled workers coming to the country. Also Read - No Looking Back Now: After Brexit, Britain Begins New Chapter Without European Union
Called the ‘Global Talent Scheme,’ the system will come into effect from January 1, 2021, at the end of the transition period after the United Kingdom finally exited the European Union (EU) on January 31 this year. However, it will still apply equally to both EU and non-EU citizens. Also Read - Brexit: EU Leaders Wish For Unity, Hope as UK Departs From Its Bloc
The scheme, described as ‘historic moment’ by the Home Secretary, is inspired by Australia’s points-based immigration system. It is based on assigning points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions, with visas only awarded to those who gain enough points. Also Read - Britain to Remain India's Most Important EU Partner, Says British High Commissioner Amid Brexit
According to the British government, skilled workers should be able to speak English in order to work in the UK. Applicants will be required to have a job offer and the minimum salary threshold will be set at 25,600 pounds-lower than the previous 30,000 pounds for Tier-2 work visas.
On the educational qualification front, the applicants should be qualified up to A-level or equivalent, rather than the degree-level as per the current rules. This, according to the UK Home Office, is to provide greater flexibility and ensure that UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers.
Also available for students, the scheme would require those wishing to study in the UK to show that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, can support themselves financially and speak English.
The system, once implemented, will replace the free movement which currently exists between the UK and the EU. The current system allows for an unlimited number of EU citizens to live and work in the UK and vice-versa, without the need for a visa.