It is a historic step taken up by the UK for its immigration system in 50 years. Britain is all set to hail unlimited flow of workers from Europe to a controlled flow of skilled workers from across the globe, including India.
The new system has been inspired by Australia's points-based immigration system. Points will be assigned on account of specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions with a motive to attract high-skilled workers from around the globe. In the new system, EU and non-EU will be treated equally.
There has been a cap on the number of Tier 2 visas issued until now, but under the new policy, no cap will be there for skilled-worker visas issued. The system will replace the free movement which currently exists between the UK and the EU, which allows an unlimited number of EU citizens to live and work in the UK and vice versa, without the need for any visa.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel launched the new system and 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 system, which will bring overall migration numbers down. 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.
It is worth mentioning here that low-skilled workers would not enter into Britain under the new post-Brexit scheme. The Home Office said it analysed that 70 per cent of the existing EU workforce in Britain would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route.
Priti Patel said, "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."
However, skilled migrants from across the world, including India, will have to attain 70 points to be eligible to apply to enter the UK to work.
A job offer salary of £25,600 a year, the ability to speak English and an A level qualification or equivalent will be mandatory. Under the current Tier 2 scheme, skilled workers need a degree and a £30,000 minimum salary. The Home Office said the new criteria provide greater flexibility and ensure the UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers.
Points will be issued on different grounds like having a job offer, being able to speak English, having a PhD in a subject relevant to the job, or taking a job in a shortage occupation.
Amit Tiwari, president of INSA (Indian National Student Association) said, "A lot of Indian students want to put experience to their qualifications, so they would welcome the lower salary threshold for when they have to convert their visa."
Pratik Dattani, managing director, EPG said, "The lower salary threshold means skilled Indians are easily the biggest winner. This new points system finally gives clarity about Britain's vision for the future. The major flaw is that the policy change will exacerbate Britain's chronic labour shortages in vocational skills, which have relied so heavily on Eastern Europeans."