By Charles Kelly
5 July 2008
The UK Border Agency has announced that from 30 June 2008 all highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs and investors wanting to come to the United Kingdom will be able to apply for their United Kingdom visa under a new Australian style points-based system.
Applicants will need to earn points to satisfy the visa service that they can make a positive contribution to the United Kingdom.
Only those with enough points, awarded for objective criteria such as qualifications, previous earnings, age and United Kingdom experience, will obtain a visa.
The new system replaces the two staged Highly Skilled Migrant programme with a single application that is far easier to use. Applicants are able to calculate how many points they will be awarded, and therefore if they are likely to be issued a visa, before making an application.
Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said:
“The introduction of Tier 1 of the Points Based System is good for those wanting to work in Britain and good for the UK economy.
“We are clear that we will not tolerate any abuse of our systems. That is why we have introduced fingerprint technology to check all visa applicants, a new force to police our borders and new rules that ban anyone using false documents or deception from the UK for up to ten years.”
The changes introduce the first tier of the points-based system. Other tiers for students, skilled workers with a job offer and temporary workers such as musicians, actors and sportsmen will both be introduced over the next year.
Highly Skilled Migrant and other schemes closed Tier 1 replaces eight former immigration categories: The categories that will close are:
Highly Skilled Migrant and other schemes closed
Tier 1 replaces eight former immigration categories:
The categories that will close are:
- the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP);
- business people;
- writers, composers and artists;
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme;
- International Graduates Scheme;
- self-employed lawyers.
Applications made under these categories on or after the 30 June 2008 will be returned to the applicant and will rejected.
Anyone currently in the United Kingdom under one of these categories looking to extend their leave will need to apply under 1 when their existing permission to stay ends.