Students wear mask and plastic gloves during university entrance test at State Senior High School 3 in South Jakarta on July 9, 2020. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

UK's New Immigration System Paves Way for Indonesian Professionals, Students

JULY 17, 2020

Jakarta. The UK government will introduce a points-based immigration system in which people of all nationalities will be treated equally.

The new system, which will be in place from January 1 next year, is among key changes in the country’s global interactions following its departure from the European Union.

When the UK was a member of the EU, any EU citizen could move to the UK. 

Now the UK has left the EU, “we are free to unleash the UK’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement, published by the UK Embassy in Jakarta on Friday.

“Through our new immigration system, we will finally develop a true meritocracy where anyone with the right skills who wants to come to UK will have the ability to do so and I look forward to welcoming the best talent Indonesia has to offer,” Patel said.

The new system has removed the Resident Labor Market Test, lowered the skills and salary threshold, and removed the cap on skilled workers.

“Student visa routes will ensure that our world-leading universities can continue to welcome talented and high potential Indonesian students to our globally renowned institutions,” the statement reads.

The new system will require those applying via the skilled worker route to accrue points by meeting a number of relevant criteria, such as have a job offer at the appropriate skill level, the ability to speak English and meeting the salary threshold.

The new points-based system will expand the skills threshold for skilled workers. An applicant’s job must be at the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system. 

“This is a hugely positive step. The UK has chosen to focus not on where you come from but on who you are: an Immigration system based on individuals – their talents and abilities,” Deputy British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Rob Fenn said. 

“We should see more British-Indonesian academic research; businesses and entrepreneurialism; personal friendships; cultural learning and exchange – all as a result of this change.”

“Historically, Indonesians that move abroad go mostly to neighboring countries and the Middle East. With this announcement, I hope more Indonesians will move to the UK – and hold positions of power and influence there. This will only help further develop the great friendship between our two countries,” he said.

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