With less than 27 days to apply for a Work Permit before tiers 2 and 5 goes live, Immigration Matters outlines the options for migrant workers prior to the implementation of the points based system later this month.
Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas announced that the ‘live’ date for tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based system is set for 27 November 2008.
In just under four weeks, tier 2 will replace the current skilled worker permit scheme. Tier 5 covers temporary workers entering the United Kingdom for a short period will replace a number of schemes.
The paper based Work Permit will replaced by an electronic ‘certificate of sponsorship’ issued by the sponsoring employer.
The UK Border Agency said:
“Sponsors will be responsible for issuing certificates of sponsorship to migrants and ensuring that their sponsor obligations are fulfilled. Migrants can then use the certificate of sponsorship to apply for entry clearance.”
Employers wishing to ‘bring non-European Economic Area migrants to the UK’ under tiers 2 and 5 will need to be licensed by the UK Border Agency as sponsor.
Transitional arrangements have been extended for Work Permit holders such as Senior Carers wishing to renew or extend their permits and visas or ‘leave to remain’ (FLR). Employers will need to apply using the new system and be registered as sponsors, a process which can take up to three months.
A number of existing immigration categories, such as the Training and Work Experience Scheme (TWES), will close when tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based system are implemented. After November, anyone in UK under these schemes wishing to extend their stay will have to apply to stay or return to the UK under a new category of the points-based system.
Work Permit holders have less than four weeks to renew their permits and obtain Further Leave to Remain under the present ‘non-points-based’ system. Work Permit extension applications (WP1X) must be received the day before the system goes live.
Although the Home Office has introduced transitional measures to help existing permit holders who may not meet the strict new point’s guidelines, many migrant workers such as Senior Carers are rushing to beat the deadline.
Cynthia Barker of Bison UK has been inundated with calls and visits from Work Permit holders to their free surgeries.
“Senior Carers and other Work Permits holders do not understand or trust the new system and would rather renew or move job now than take their chances under the points system. Besides, most employers are not even registered as sponsors yet and many cannot pay the £7.02 ‘going rate’ salary”. Cynthia said.
Here are 3 steps to help you decide which option is best for you:
- Be informed and be aware of your options. Check the UK Border Agency table on Immigration Matters to see if your immigration category qualifies under the new system for renewal. See also the UK Border Agency website.
- Take advice before you make your move. Both employers and workers should speak to an OISC registered Work Permit specialist before sending in an application to the Home Office. This is not the time to throw in an application and hope for the best. Too much is at stake to make a mistake at this stage of the game.
- Act now! You have less than 27 days to take advantage of the current rules.
If you need immigration advice or help with a Work Permit or Visa please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bison Management UK are running FREE Senior Carer Presentations every day in November for people with Work Permit issues or those looking for a “Going Rate” employer.
NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED, JUST DROP IN 10.00 – 4.00 – MONDAY TO FRIDAY