The UK has announced a new points-based immigration system, ensuring that it continues to attract the brightest and the best from around the world, including India. The new system will take effect from 1 January 2021.

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, the British High Commission said today.

The new single global system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally, giving top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, innovators and academics.

The minimum general salary threshold will be reduced to £25,600 (about Rs 23.8 lakh), down from the previously proposed £30,000.

The UK 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.

Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson, said: “The new Points-Based Immigration System is great news for Indian nationals looking to work in the UK. It puts Indian applicants on a level playing field, and prioritises those with the greatest skills and talent – something which India has in abundance.’’

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 per cent of all Tier 2 visas granted globally last year. Over half a million UK visit visas were issued to Indians in 2019, up almost ten per cent from the previous year. Tier 4 student visa numbers also increased by 63 per cent last year – almost four times faster than the percentage increase globally.