Kathmandu, 22 Dec
While the UK was a member of the European Union, European citizens had the right to live and work as long as they wanted with work permits in the UK. However, after Brexit, the British government introduced a flexible policy to meet the shortage of workers after the implementation of the same immigration rules for citizens of European and other countries.
A Nepalese student who arrived in the UK in September to pursue a master’s degree in International Tourism and Aviation Management at the University of West London is preparing to drop out after three months to get a work permit in the UK. Having paid half of the yearly education expenses of 14,750 pounds (about 2.2 million rupees), he has been in the process of getting a work permit for the last few days. “If you add something to the remaining amount to be paid to the university and submit it to the agent, you can get a work permit,” he said.
Similarly, Roshan Sapkota came to the UK last January on a three-and-a-half-year visa to study Bachelor (Hons) Business and Management at the University of Central Lancashire. Three-year course, annual fee of £9,250. Even though he had paid the first year’s tuition fees from Nepal, he did not continue his studies as he had to pay an additional 30 lakh rupees to complete his studies. In addition, he has little confidence that he will pass.
Amid dilemma and agony, he has decided to change his student visa to a work permit and has already paid 10,000 pounds to a Bengali restaurateur. He is waiting for the ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ and said that he is preparing to apply for a skilled worker visa soon.
A student visa to enter the UK and a work permit upon arrival. In recent times, there has been a rapid increase in the number of international students coming to the UK to study and using the Skilled Worker visa system. Students who drop out in the middle of their studies are especially attracted towards work permit visas in the care and hospitality sector.
This trend is also increasing among Nepali students. They are being switched to Student Work Permit (Tier Two) category by paying at least 10 to 15 thousand pounds (about 2 million rupees). It seems that Nepalis who are willing to earn rather than study and be ‘settled’ in the UK are also motivated to change their visa because they can buy a 5-year work permit if they spend one year’s university fees.
Nepali students, businessmen, agents and businessmen of South Asian origin as well as solicitors have benefited from this flexible new system of government. First, status can be easily changed without a degree from the student route if a job offer is made by an employer recognized by the Home Office. Secondly, because of the high cost of studying and the hassle of passing the exam for international students, students are resorting to working permits to settle quickly. As there are visit visas, seasonal visas and short-term study visas, you cannot go for the skilled worker route.
According to British government data, within one year from 2021, about 249,000 people have received worker visas. This is 82 per cent more than the 2019 Covid pandemic. After leaving the European Union (EU), the British government launched a new visa system based on points from January 2021 with the aim of bringing in talented and skilled workers from around the world.
A ‘Skilled Worker Visa’ requires a job offer from an employer, a low level of English and an annual income of at least £25,600. Migrant workers must score a total of 70 points to qualify for the visa, with 40 points for a skilled job offer from a recognized employer, 10 points for the English language and 20 points for an annual salary of at least 25,600. The visa duration will be up to 5 years.
The UK has adopted this route with the hope that a simple, efficient and flexible system will encourage employers to hire skilled workers as needed and train and invest in the UK’s workforce. Legal expert Mahesh Kumar Dahal says that due to the new rules, it has become easier to come directly from a third country on a work permit or to change the route after coming to the UK on a student visa.
When the UK was a member of the EU, European citizens had the right to live and work in the UK as long as they wanted. However, now the same immigration rules apply to citizens of European and other countries. Immigration consultants understand that the government has introduced a flexible policy to meet the shortage of workers.
With Brexit, the number of people coming to work and study from non-EU countries is expected to increase after the end of open movement from Europe to the UK. Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds, UK. Surya Prasad Subedi (QC) says that Britain is the choice of people from all over the world because of the environment where everyone can progress due to competition and quality.