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UK introduces new points-based immigration system

London [UK]: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday introduced a new point-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.

New system

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.

British Deputy High Commissioner for Karnataka and Kerala Jeremy pilmore-Bedford said “This is fantastic news for Indians, particularly from Karnataka and Kerala, who are looking to work in the UK. The exciting announcement puts Indian applicants on a level playing field and prioritises those with the greatest skills and talent – something which India has in abundance. The news demonstrated the UK’s global outlook and our desire to attract the best and brightest. It also underlines our commitment to strengthening the UK-India Living Bridge.”

UK’s Graduate route

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 percent 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 percent from the previous year. Tier 4 student visa numbers also increased by 63 percent last year – almost four times faster than the percentage increase globally.

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