UK govt unveils new rules for fast-track visas.
The UK authorities on Thursday confirmed plans to introduce a new visa for qualified doctors and nurses from countries around the world, including India, to address workforce shortages in the state-funded National Health Service (NHS).
“Steps will be taken to raise and encourage the National Health Service’s workforce and a new visa will guarantee qualified physicians, nurses and health professionals have fast-track entrance to the United Kingdom,” her speech notes.
“A modern, honest, points-based immigration system will welcome skilled workers from throughout the world to contribute to the United Kingdom’s economy, communities and public agencies,” it adds, in reference to another Johnson pledge ahead of the December 12 General Election – to present an Australian-style points-based immigration system to entice the”brightest and best” from around the world.
An accompanying government briefing paper elaborates that under its”NHS People Plan”, qualified physicians, nurses and allied health professionals with a job offer from the NHS, and that have been trained to a recognised standard, will be provided fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK.
The British government has promised that its new visa and immigration system, which would be in place post-Brexit once Britain has abandoned the European Union (EU) next year, would be”fairer” as it would put skilled migrants from all over the world at par after the EU’s freedom of movement principles no longer apply to the United Kingdom.
The wide-ranging Queen’s Speech covered a wide range of government programs.
“Ministers will seek a future relationship with the European Union according to a free trade arrangement that benefits the whole of the uk. They’ll also begin trade negotiations with other leading international markets,” the speech notes.
It has also set an ambitious environmental agenda for the UK, which includes a ban on the export of polluting plastic waste to countries outside the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and set a new, world-leading independent regulator in statute. India was among the countries that received a number of the plastic waste of the UK before it brought in a law to work towards ending that practice. These changes will be included one of the over 30 bills announced, in a new Environment Bill.
“Staff have been spoken to today. We’re extremely grateful for all their work and we’ll help everyone to find new jobs,” a government statement said.
The break from the usual convention of a Queen’s Speech is a reflection of the urgency to get the legislation in place for the UK to meet with the hottest Brexit deadline at the New Year.