New UK visa requirements open doors to more South Africans

2010-03-26 08:23

Following a severe clampdown on South Africa by UK immigration

authorities, the doors have finally reopened with the most recent changes in UK

immigration requirements, painting a brighter picture for South African


According to expert immigration group 1st Contact, South Africans

in possession of a Bachelor’s Degree may once again be eligible for the Tier 1

(Highly Skilled Migrant) visa when the updated UK visa requirements come into

effect on April 6.

The UK Border Agency recently announced changes to UK visa

requirements, following the recommendations made by the Migration Advisory

Committee (MAC). According to the new requirements, applicants will 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.

This significant revision of the points is set to make this process

more favourable for South Africans.

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 (30 Points).

A Master’s Degree scores 35 points, while a PhD will be awarded 45


“This is great news for South Africans with a Bachelor’s Degree!”

says Robyn Cory, Visa Manager at expert Immigration Group 1st Contact.

“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.”

According to Cory there are other windows of opportunity for South

Africans to harness in order to better facilitate opportunities to live and work

in the UK.

Another welcome change to the requirements is that applicants who

are under 30 years of age 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.

These Tier 1 changes come hot on the heels of a new immigration law

which came into effect on 13 January 2010, allowing South Africans with

British-born mothers the right to UK citizenship through registration.

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