UK to remove cap on skilled migrants: Indians will be benefited

20th Dec 2023

As per the proposal been raised in the House of Commons marking the biggest change in the Britain’s Immigration system in 40 years, an unlimited number of highly-skilled workers from India are going to get benefitted. The UK Government white paper published by the UK home secretary Sajid Javid set out a new immigration system based on the skills rather than the country people belong to. Taking the skill-based approach thus ends the dual system of immigration of admitting only the high skilled labour from outside the EU while workers of all skills from the EU are being hired by the UK employers. The new system ensures to attract the best migrants to the UK thus boosting productivity, wages and UK economy.

The white paper on immigration announces a New Skilled Work Visa Route that establishes an annual salary threshold of £30,000 requiring sponsorship from an employer just like tier 2 visa. Currently the number of UK work visa issued is 20,700 per year and the proposal announces the complete eradication of this cap. The UK high-skilled job market will be opened to non-EU and EU citizens alike. Further it will end the resident market labour test that requires the businesses to advertise the positions to the UK workers first thus providing equal chance to non-EU professionals. Not only graduates but also the workers with intermediate skills such as A levels will get highly benefitted with the new skilled work visa route. The new rules also allow the workers to bring dependants, extend their stay and switch to other routes as well as to settle permanently. International students can stay in Britain to work after completion of their degrees from 4 month to 6 months. PhD holders can stay up to 12 months. The students will get more time either to find permanent skilled job or a temporary work during their stay.

Besides the new skilled work visa route, the white paper also announced the new short term workers scheme that

  • Allows the workers in lower-skilled jobs not meeting the salary threshold of skilled route to come to the UK for 12 months
  • No sponsorship is required hence they can switch the employers
  • The employers will be responsible to check that employees hold a visa
  • This route does not allow extending the stay, switching the routes, bring dependant or settling permanently.
  • Still it is unclear whether Indians can use the short-term workers scheme or not.

Jim Bligh, CII UK India Business forum stated “Indian industry has long called for a fair, transparent and skills-based immigration system and this proposal go some way to achieving these goals. The key focus of the government remains tackling the UK’s skill gaps, particularly in technology and digital. It is welcoming that the paper recognises the value that overseas skilled workers can bring to help improve the UK’s skills base.

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