A string of changes in the rules for people seeking a UK work permit have been announced in Parliament.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said the package is designed to improve the UK’s economic growth by introducing a more flexible system to allow talented overseas individuals to work in the UK.
It adds digital professionals to the Tier 1 category and eases some of the restrictions on graduation dates for MBA graduates seeking UK work permits as part of the Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.
The Tier 2 route to a UK work permit is also undergoing changes, with successful applicants able to stay in the UK for up to five years at a time rather than the current three. These changes will also now be applied to people from Croatia who have an offer of a skilled job in the UK.
In addition, a new Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Route scheme will be introduced for overseas language teachers. The first will be for Mandarin teachers as part of a programme to boost cultural relations with China.
Mr Brokenshire said that ‘minor changes and clarifications’ would also be made to regulations covering family life as a result of feedback from legal and caseworkers.
The Minister added: “The Government keeps visa regimes under constant review to ensure that the UK has the right visa requirements set in the right places, aligned to risk.
“Visas and Immigration continues to be focused on delivering an excellent customer service and ensuring that the UK maintains a competitive visa system that can innovate in order to ensure that Britain succeeds in the global race.”