Current UK Visa Policy and New Visa System
The United Kingdom’s visa policy has undergone significant changes in recent years and will continue to evolve as the new visa system – the Points-Based System (PBS) – is phased in. The following article takes a deep dive into the current UK visa policy, explores the new visa system, and answers frequently asked questions.
Current UK Visa Policy
The current UK visa policy is primarily based on the Immigration Act of 1971 and the Nationality, Immigration, and Asylum Act of 2002. The government is responsible for making rules and policies related to visas in the UK, while the Home Office is responsible for ensuring that these policies are implemented and enforced.
Visas for UK nationals must be obtained prior to entry into the UK and are issued by the Home Office. The visa application process can be lengthy and complex, but it is necessary to ensure that everyone entering the UK meets certain criteria, such as having a valid reason for visiting or working in the country and not posing a security risk.
There are several types of UK visas available, including:
– Visitor visas, which allow individuals to visit the UK for up to six months for tourism, business, or other reasons
– Work visas, which allow individuals to work in the UK for a specified period of time, such as Tier 2 visas for skilled workers and Tier 5 visas for temporary workers
– Family visas, which allow individuals to join family members in the UK who are already settled there
– Student visas, which allow individuals to study in the UK for a specified period of time
Applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria and provide documentation to support their application, such as bank statements, employment records, and educational qualifications.
New Visa System: Points-Based System
The new UK visa system – the Points-Based System (PBS) – is being phased in over the next few years and will replace the current visa policy. The PBS is intended to simplify the visa application process and ensure that the most skilled and talented individuals are able to come to the UK.
Under the PBS, applicants will be awarded points based on various criteria, such as their level of education, work experience, and skills. In order to be eligible for a visa, applicants must reach a certain number of points.
There will be several types of visas available under the PBS, including:
– Skilled worker visas, which will be available to individuals who have a job offer from a UK employer and meet certain criteria related to skills, qualification, and salary
– Graduate visas, which will be available to international students who have completed a UK degree and wish to remain in the country to work
– Health and care worker visas, which will be available to individuals who work in the UK healthcare sector and meet certain criteria related to skills and qualifications
– Global talent visas, which will be available to individuals who are leaders or potential leaders in the fields of science, engineering, humanities, and the arts
The PBS is intended to be a more streamlined and efficient system for processing visa applications, as well as ensuring that the UK is able to attract the most skilled and talented individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will the PBS replace all current UK visas?
A: Yes, the PBS will eventually replace all current UK visas. However, the rollout of the new system will be phased in over the next few years.
Q: Will the PBS make it easier or harder to get a visa?
A: The PBS is intended to streamline the visa application process and ensure that the most skilled and talented individuals are able to come to the UK. However, the eligibility criteria for each visa type may be more stringent under the new system.
Q: Will the PBS affect EU nationals?
A: Yes, the PBS will apply to all individuals who wish to come to the UK for work or study purposes, including EU nationals.
Q: Will the PBS affect UK citizens who wish to travel or work in EU countries?
A: No, the PBS will only apply to individuals who wish to come to the UK. UK citizens who wish to travel or work in EU countries will need to follow the visa policies of those countries.
Q: When will the PBS be fully implemented?
A: The rollout of the new system will be phased in over the next few years, with some visa types already available under the PBS. The full implementation of the new system is expected to be completed by 2025.
The UK’s visa policy is undergoing significant changes with the implementation of the Points-Based System. While the new system is intended to streamline the visa application process and ensure that the UK is able to attract the most skilled and talented individuals, there may be challenges during the transition period. Understanding the current UK visa policy and keeping up-to-date with the implementation of the new system will be essential for anyone wishing to travel, work, or study in the UK in the coming years.