Highly skilled Kenyans without degree-level qualifications are set to be allowed to apply for work permits in the UK from January 2021.
This will be realized under the UK’s post-Brexit immigration rules that lower the requirement for foreign job seekers to the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent from degree-level under the EU bloc system.
“An applicant’s job must be at the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system,” the UK Home Office said.
The Home Office said the new points-based immigration system aims at providing greater flexibility to ensure the UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers.
Kenyan professionals in fields such as IT, accountancy, plumbing, and electrical works will benefit from the relaxed visa rules.
The UK has reduced the minimum wage for skilled migrants by 26.67 percent to £22,000 per year from £30,000 per year currently.
This follows a proposal by Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which in January this year recommended £25,600 minimum annual pay for migrant skilled laborers.
“Under the new system, those wishing to live and work in the UK must gain 70 points – and points are awarded for criteria such as having a job offer, holding a Ph.D. relevant to the job, speaking English and earning more than £22,000 per year,” an advisory by the Home Office says.
“There are also additional points for those with job offers in ‘shortage occupations’.”
Further to this, the relaxed visa rules will allow Kenyan students to stay longer after graduating from UK universities to find jobs. International students who complete their studies will be able to stay in Britain for two years for undergraduates and three years for Ph.D. holders.
“Leaving the European Union means the UK will be open to the brightest and best from around the world – and Kenya is very much a part of that,” British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said in a statement.
“I’m particularly pleased that the new Graduate Route will be opening in summer 2021, allowing Kenya and UK’s fantastic and talented minds to work even more closely together.”