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NARIC & HSMP | Immigration Matters

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  • NARIC – The first step on the road to working or studying in the UK

  • HSMP – Highly Skilled Migrants on the rise


What is a NARIC Assessment?

UK NARIC, which stands (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) is the national agency under contract to the UK Government Department for Education and Skills. It is the official source of information and advice on the comparability of international qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide with those in the UK.

NARIC provides information on the comparability of international and national qualifications in regard to education and training, professional registration and international employment.

It doesn’t matter where you come from – UK, Europe or anywhere else in the world, the information from NARIC about education systems and technical or vocational qualifications is recognised by higher education institutions, professional bodies and commercial organisations.

As such, an official NARIC Certificate is the first step on the road to working or studying in the UK.

Who needs a NARIC Assessment?

Basically, anyone wishing to compare their overseas qualification to the UK standard. Overseas applicants applying for UK jobs, work permits or student places are often asked for a NARIC Assessment to compare their overseas qualifications with the UK equivalent.

How do I obtain a NARIC Assessment?

If you have a credit card you can apply online through the NARIC website.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to use a credit card or if you require help and advice about NARIC, Overseas Consultancy Services can apply on your behalf. Download the NARIC Request forms from


What is the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme?

The programme is designed to allow highly skilled people to migrate to the United Kingdom to look for work or self-employment opportunities. The scheme now has a new assessment for applicants aged under 28 as well as an assessment for those 28 and over.

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is different from the work permit scheme because you do not need a specific job offer in the UK to apply.

It is different from business routes such as the Innovators scheme or other business categories because: you do not need a detailed business plan; you do not need to create jobs; and you do not need to invest in the UK.

Proposals to expand the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme and introduce the new Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme were announced in the Chancellor’s Budget Report on the 9th April 2003.

The new HSMP criteria included:

· reducing the overall points threshold from 75 to 65 points;

· introducing new criteria for applicants aged under 28 to make it easier for younger, skilled applicants to work in the UK;

· introducing an allowance of 10 points for an applicant with a partner who has a degree or has been previously employed in a graduate-level job;

Graduates in maths, science and engineering wishing to work in the UK following completion of their studies should:

· have successfully completed a relevant course of a duration of one year or more, at a UK Higher Education Institution;

· be able to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds;

· during their 12 months’ leave, have a right, subject to meeting the various criteria to switch in-country to Work Permit employment or the HSMP category.

How do I qualify as a highly skilled migrant?

There is a points-based immigration scheme. Points are scored in five main areas: educational qualifications; work experience; past earnings; your achievement in your chosen field; and your husband’s, wife’s or unmarried partner’s achievements.

You need to score 65 points or more to qualify as a highly skilled migrant.

Self-employed General Practitioners and Dentists qualified to practice in the UK may also apply under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

In April 2005, the Home Office began a scheme in which those who had completed an MBA from any of the Top 50 Management Schools after 2nd December 2004 could take advantage of MBA provision within HSMP. 10 of the Management Schools on the list prepared by the Treasury are from the UK and 40 are from the rest of the world.

How long will I be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled migrant?

At first, we give you permission to stay in the UK for a year to seek work or self-employment opportunities. After a year, you can apply to stay for longer but you must be economically active.

As a highly skilled migrant, can I stay in the United Kingdom permanently?

If you live here continuously for four years with Home Office permission, you can apply near the end of the 4 years to live here permanently.

How can I apply?

You can apply from abroad. In most cases, you can also apply from inside the UK if you are here with Home Office permission.

Your application will not be successful if you are in the United Kingdom as a visitor, on temporary admission, or without permission.

You may apply to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Team at Work Permits UK in Sheffield.

Alternatively, if you require help and advice about HSMP, Overseas Consultancy Services can apply on your behalf. Download the HSMP Request forms from

If you should have any questions concerning the above please send an email to or call 0870 041 4658.

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