The UK Border Agency are introducing the points-based system (PBS) for migrants who want to work, train or study in the UK.
But what will happen to those migrants already in the UK under concessions or transitional arrangements or those that do not fit into the PBS?
The answer, it would appear, is that those schemes will simply be “deleted”.
That was the exact term used this month as the UK Border Agency announced they will delete many of our existing immigration categories such as writers, composers and artists, self-employed lawyers, innovators and those people here on the International Graduates Scheme, Fresh Talent and Working in Scotland Scheme.
At this moment you may be asking yourself: “Aren’t these the sort of people – creative, innovative and educated – that we want to encourage to stay in this country?”
The announcement continues:
“These changes will impact on migrants who currently have permission to stay in the United Kingdom in categories that are being deleted.
“Should your category be deleted, as long as you continue to comply with the terms of your permission to stay in the United Kingdom, you will be able to complete the period for which you have been granted permission to stay (known as leave to remain) in that category.
“Wherever possible, we will introduce arrangements to minimise the impact of the transition to the points-based system. These arrangements may differ from category to category.”
If you think you will be “impacted” by these changes you should seek advice from an OISC registered immigration adviser.
Tier 1 of the points-based system was introduced in the UK on 29 February 2008 and extended to India on 1 April 2008. Roll-out will extend globally this summer. At that point (which will not be before 30 June 2008) we will be deleting the following categories:
See the UK Border Agency’s website for details of ‘temporary transitional arrangements’, which are being put in place for affected migrants.
Meanwhile other migrant categories await their fate as the Government wields its axe on non-EU workers. Thousands of Domestic Workers and Senior Carers could find themselves being put into Tier 3, for low skilled workers, and thus ineligible for visa renewal.
The Domestic Workers Concession, created by a Labour Government in 1998, allows domestic workers brought into the UK by their employers to change jobs and renew their visas.
The Home Office has not yet announced exactly how the estimated 17000 workers renewing domestic visas will be treated when Tier 2 of the new system starts in September 2008, but it is widely expected that the concession will be abolished.
Senior Carers, currently allowed to switch employers under a transitional arrangement set to run until the introduction of Tier 2, are also bracing themselves for bad news.
Work Permits for Senior Carers are unlikely to be renewed under PBS and the Government, leaving up to 25000 overseas workers, essential to the care industry, facing the threat of removal from the UK.
The UK Border Agency are already getting tough on Senior Carer Work Permit decisions, despite the fact that it recently announced that it will consider ‘out of time applications for Senior Carers with expired visas’.
Employers and Immigration Advisers have noticed a marked increase in the number of Work Permit refusals in recent weeks. Work Permit caseworkers are also requesting increasing amounts of ‘further information’, in some cases after one lot of information had already been supplied.
Cynthia Barker of Immigration Advisers Bison UK said:
“We have noticed that the border agency has recently started to become harder on their decisions and are asking for more ‘further information’ on a case even after we have supplied them with everything you thought it was possible to ask for.”
“We have also noticed more employers calling us saying they are running short of care workers.”
Senior Care workers on less than a 5 year Work Permit are now faced with the dilemma. Should they stay with their current employer and trust that the UK Government will do “something” to help them post PBS, or should they move jobs now and obtain a new 5 year permit?
The choices they make today will have a lasting effect not only on the rest of their lives, but also on the lives of their families, their employers and co workers and the patients they care for in the 20000 plus care homes all over the UK.