UK Unveils New Tough Visa Rules for Skilled Workers

The UK government has announced a new set of immigration rules that aim to reduce the number of migrants coming to the country and prioritize those with high skills and qualifications.

The new rules, which will take effect from January 1, 2024, will replace the current system of free movement for EU citizens and introduce a points-based system for all non-British nationals who want to work, study or settle in the UK.

Under the new system, applicants will need to score at least 70 points to be eligible for a visa. Points will be awarded based on criteria such as having a job offer from an approved employer, having a PhD in a relevant subject, speaking English at a high level, and earning a minimum salary of £25,600 ($34,000) per year.

The government said the new rules will allow the UK to attract the “brightest and best” talent from around the world, while also ensuring that British workers are not undercut by cheap foreign labor.

The new rules will also make it harder for low-skilled workers, such as those in hospitality, agriculture and social care, to come to the UK. The government said it wants to encourage employers to invest in training and technology to fill these roles, rather than relying on migrant workers.

The new rules have been met with mixed reactions from different sectors and groups. Some business leaders and industry bodies have welcomed the new system, saying it will help them recruit the skills they need and boost the UK’s competitiveness. Others have warned that the new rules will create labor shortages, especially in sectors that rely heavily on migrant workers, and harm the UK’s economy and society.

The new rules have also sparked controversy among some politicians and activists, who have criticized the government for being too harsh and restrictive on immigration. They have argued that the new rules will damage the UK’s reputation as a diverse and welcoming country, and that they will not address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, conflict and climate change.

The new rules are part of the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy, which was one of the main issues that led to the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016. The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, but has been in a transition period until December 31, 2020, during which the existing rules of free movement have remained in place.

The UK government said the new rules will allow the UK to take back control of its borders and sovereignty, and to decide who can come to the country and on what terms. The government also said it will continue to cooperate with the EU and other countries on issues such as security, trade and tourism.

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