The UK government has been accused of "rank hypocrisy" for pushing ahead with plans to make it harder for foreign health workers to work in the UK, while clapping those currently in the National Health Service for their role in fighting COVID-19.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior ministers have been filmed participating in the UK's weekly "Clap for Carers" event in which British people applaud NHS staff and key workers from their doorsteps, widows, and balconies.
However, opposition parties say this is incongruent with the UK government's new immigration system.
The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday brought the government's Immigration Bill back to the House of Commons for its second reading, with the bill almost certain to pass.
It requires all immigrants from January 2021 to have a enough "points" before being authorised to work in the UK. Applicants will need at least 70 points to be granted a visa, excluding many lower paid workers.
All applicants must also be able to speak English to a certain level, and have a job offer at a "required skill level" that is sponsored by an employer approved by the UK government.
Patel said the new "points-based" system would be "firmer, fairer, and simpler" than the EU's free movement of people, which the UK has followed for years as one of the bloc's member states.
Johnson's government also plans to add to its immigration system a "fast-track visa" for NHS workers. At £464 (KY$468), the visa will be half of the cost of visas for other foreign workers, and applicants will receive a decision within two weeks.
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