13 July 2020
Home Office announces immigration plans
A new fast-track health and care visa has been announced as part of Government’s plans for the UK's points-based immigration system, which will come into force when freedom of movement ends on 1 January 2021.
The new visa will have a lower fee and frontline health workers would not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
However, it appears that workers in the social care sector may not be eligible for the new visa.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel also said employers would be encouraged to invest in workers from within the UK and that the new system would allow businesses and organisations to "attract the best and brightest from around the world".
Under the Home Office plans, people wishing to live and work in the UK must achieve 70 points, which will be awarded based on a range of criteria including having a job offer, speaking English or earning over £22,000 a year.
People, who’ve been offered jobs in "shortage occupations" such as architects and programmers and software development professionals, would also be able to earn extra points.
The Home Secretary said: "At a time where an increased number of people across the UK are looking for work, the new points-based system will encourage employers to invest in the domestic UK workforce, rather than simply relying on labour from abroad.
"But we are also making necessary changes, so it is simpler for employers to attract the best and brightest from around the world to come to the UK to complement the skills we already have."
Priti Patel added that the visa process for students was also being reviewed, with a new graduate route being launched in Summer 2021 to "help retain the brightest and the best students to contribute to the UK post-study".
International students would also be able to remain in the UK for a minimum of two years after finishing their studies.