Last week the UK Government announced a range of changes to its current immigration system, many of which will benefit Ugandans.
The changes include the introduction of a fast track visa scheme for leading scientists, researchers and mathematicians and a new graduate route, which allows international students to stay in the UK for two years once they have successfully completed their studies.
The new fast-track option for scientists, researchers and mathematicians was launched on 19th February under the current Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. Called the Global Talent scheme, it will be managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and will enable UK-based research projects to recruit top global talent who can make critical contributions to UK research and contribute to the UK’s prosperity agenda.
By 2030, the UK also hopes to increase the number of international students in higher education in the UK to 600,000. To meet this ambition, from summer 2021 they will introduce a new Graduate route, which allows international students to stay in the UK for two years once they have successfully completed their studies. This will make the UK’s offer to international students even more competitive and make it easier for them to secure skilled jobs in the UK.
The new system will also benefit those who want to work in the UK. Applicants will still need to have a job offer from an approved sponsor, at the required level, and be able to show proficiency in the English language, but the salary and skills threshold has been reduced. This will provide greater flexibility and ensure UK business has access to a wider pool of skilled workers. In addition, to facilitate the migration of skilled workers to support the UK’s National Health Service, a fast track NHS visa for certain medical professionals with NHS job offers, will also be created.
The new system will now treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and hopes to attract the brightest and best talent from across the world, delivering a highly skilled, high-wage and highly productive economy for the UK. It will also help reduce illegal migration and criminal activity at the border.