A new points-based immigration system in the United Kingdom could speed up the process of seeking a permanent residency in the country. By Bayar Jain

With the fear of Brexit looming high over Indian students and professionals residing in the United Kingdom, a happy respite has found its way into the picture. The country has decided to launch a new points-based immigration system, which could in turn speed up the process of getting a permanent residency.

In an announcement made by UK’s British Indian Home Secretary Priti Patel, this new system will be enforced starting January 1, 2021. With this, the country hopes to lure in the brightest professionals from around the world, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although a new regime in the island nation, a similar immigration system already exists in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

As per the points-based immigration system, the cap on the number of skilled workers will be scrapped, and instead, a small number of highly skilled workers will be allowed to enter. However, skilled labour would be required to have a minimum of 70 points to be eligible. Moreover, the ability to speak English and an A-level qualification (or equivalent) will also be made mandatory. A minimum salary of GBP 25,600 a year will also be compulsory. Under the current tier-2 system in place, skilled workers must have a degree coupled with a GBP 30,000 per year minimum salary. Self-employed people will face a roadblock as no routes have been decided for them yet. However, they can obtain an innovator visa, or enter a global talent scheme wherein high skilled scientists, academicians, or researchers are eligible to stay in the country despite lacking a job offer.

Under this new system, points will be awarded for meeting certain criteria. A migrant speaking English will be awarded 10 points, whereas an individual offered a job or sponsored will be given 20. If the salary exceeds GBP 25,600, then, too, 20 points will be awarded. Similarly, if the UK visa applicant has a PhD degree, 10 points will be awarded, while those with a PhD in either of the STEM subjects would get 20.

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