UK visa policy has changed and it is good news for Indian nurses and doctors. As of 2017, over 5.5 lakh Indians were pursuing higher education abroad. India is, in fact, the second largest exporter of international students.
In the UK, Indians are among the top three countries from where students come in to study. However, a change may be imminent. The UK recently announced a relaxation in its student visa rules. Changes have also been made to the UK’s Tier 2 Visa Policy with respect to doctors and nurses.
Changes in UK Visa Policy – How It Affects Students
In an effort to make it easier for international students to attend universities in the UK, the Home Office has expanded the list of countries from which student visa applicants can follow a simple visa application process. Students from these countries will still have to meet all the requirements for a Tier 4 UK visa and immigration but will not have to submit as much documentation to prove the same.
The immigration office does reserve the right to request full documentation for a random sample of applications. This change affects 11 countries including China, Mexico, Serbia and Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Cambodia, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Macau and the Maldives. The changes become effective from July 6th 2018. It is interesting to note that USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are already included in this list of low-risk countries.
UK Visa Policy – Reception In India
While the UK Home Office has said that 90% of Indian students who apply for a British Visa are granted one, Indians are not very happy with the exclusion of India from the list of low-risk countries. While the change does not affect the visa application process already being followed in India, many people feel that it affects the perception of Indian students internationally.
UK Visa Policy – Changes in UK’s Tier 2 Visa
Doctors and nurses have been removed from the Tier 2 Visa Cap. The cap for Tier 2 visas is currently set at 20,700 per year. This change means that an unrestricted number of India doctors and nurses can now work in the UK. This also means that other Tier 2 visa applicants will not have a better chance of being granted a visa. This includes teachers, engineers and IT professionals.