U.K launches new points-based visa system

U.K Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled a new points-based visa system to attract the 'brightest and the best' from the world, including from India, and to reduce the number of cheap and low-skilled workers coming to the country.

The new system will come into force from January 1, 2021 at the end of the transition period after the U.K's exit from the European Union (EU) on January 31, which will formally end free movement of people within the economic bloc for the U.K as a non-member.

The new post-Brexit system, which will apply equally to the EU and non-EU countries like India, is based on assigning points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions, with visas only awarded to those who gain enough points.

Under the scheme, foreign workers who wanted to come to the U.K would have to speak English and have the offer of a skilled job with an "approved sponsor".

They would be awarded 50 points if they fulfil these criteria.

In total, immigrants would have to reach 70 points to be able to work in the U.K, with points also being awarded for qualifications, the salary on offer and working in a sector with shortages.

The U.K Home Office said the new system is a direct response to the 2016 referendum in favour of Brexit, which was seen as a vote to end the country's reliance on cheap migrant labour and reduce overall levels of migration with tighter security.

(with news agency inputs)