New UK work visa requirements
Johannesburg - Academic qualifications now make up more points for South Africans wishing to obtain a UK work visa, migration and financial services group 1st Contact said on Friday.
"Following a severe clampdown on South Africa by UK immigration authorities, the doors have finally reopened painting a brighter picture for South African citizens," 1st Contact Visas manager Robyn Cory said.
"Academic qualifications now amount to a total of between 30 and 45 points, with the minimum level of education reverting back to the Bachelor's degree at 30 points. A Master's degree scores 35 points, while a PhD will be awarded 45 points."
According to the new requirements, Cory said applicants would still need to earn at least 75 points with an additional 10 points each (for maintenance and English language requirements) making a total of 95 points.
South Africans with a Bachelor's degree may once again be eligible for the Tier 1 (Highly Skilled Migrant) visa when the updated UK visa requirements comes into effect on April 6.
"Before people who held a BA - no matter how high their earnings - could only enter the country through a work permit and sponsorship. This meant they had to apply for and secure a job from South Africa and once in the UK, were not in a position to change jobs. "This is an exciting time and those with BA Degrees who want to gain work experience in the UK should act now."
Another welcome change to the requirements is that applicants who are under 30-years at the date of application will be awarded 20 points for their age.
Registration for nationals born to British-born mothers is now another option for citizenship.