Immigration Rules for highly skilled migrant workers will change on 31 March 2009, the UK Border Agency announced this week.
The academic and financial requirements for two categories in Tier 1 of the points-based system are being raised.
The resident labour market test will also be “strengthened to ensure that skilled jobs are advertised within the United Kingdom before they can be offered to migrant workers”.
Both changes follow the Home Secretary’s announcement on 22 February of new measures to “raise the bar” for foreign workers wishing to work in the United Kingdom.
Changes to Tier 1 of the points-based system for highly skilled
Changes for the Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) categories will apply to all applications submitted on or after 31 March 2009.
Tier 1 changes will apply to migrants applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom under this category for the first time, or applying to switch into the Tier 1. Migrants applying for an extension of their permission (FLR) under Tier 1will be unaffected.
The earnings multiplier for overseas earnings will still apply for initial applications only. There has never been a provision for overseas earnings to be multiplied at extension stage.
The changes to the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category mean that applicants will not be awarded points for Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates other than Postgraduate Certificates in Education.
The UK Border Agency has published revised guidance for Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) applications – see the guidance notes on the UK Border website for full details.
Changes to the resident labour market test
The resident labour market test ensures that sponsoring employers offering skilled jobs (Certificates of Sponsorship) to non EU migrant workers must first advertise the post to resident workers. The rule also applied to Work Permits for jobs not in a Shortage Occupation category.
From 31 March 2009, employers wishing to sponsor migrants under Tier 2 (General) will not pass the test unless the job has been:
- advertised to settled workers in Jobcentre plus
- advertised using one other method permitted by the relevant code of practice
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