The UK Government has announced that they have accepted all of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations relating to the points threshold for the Tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrant category visa.
It is now possible for very high earners to qualify under Tier 1 (General) even if they do not hold any formal post-school qualifications
These latest changes bring about the reintroduction of points for Bachelor degrees; raise the age limits for scoring points; and amendments to the salary bands across the range of point scores.
The following points table will apply from 06 April 2010:
The Government is yet to finalise the overseas earnings uplift multipliers and will not have these changes implemented by 06 April 2010. Unfortunately we cannot advise on what these may be, or if in the interim the current multipliers will be utilised. More information regarding this will be available after 06 April 2010.
It is now possible for very high earners to qualify under Tier 1 (General) even if they do not hold any formal post-school qualifications. As per the above table, applicants with earnings in excess of £150,000 can score the required 75 points for attributes purely from this criterion.
New applicants will initially be granted a Tier 1 (General) visa for 2 years, as opposed to the current 3 year validity. After the initial 2 year period, Tier 1 (General) visa holders will be able to apply for an extension of 3 years, bringing their period of leave up to 5 years.
The above table does not apply to those currently in the UK under one of the following categories:
- Tier 1 (General) with leave granted before 06 April 2010
- The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
- Writers, Composers and Artists
- Self-employed Lawyers
Transitional arrangements will be put in place so as not to impact negatively on migrants already in the UK under any of the above categories. The current points criteria will apply to applicants in one of these categories at the time of extending their current visa.
Borders and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:
‘We’ve always said that we would run our immigration system for the benefit of the UK and that is what we are doing.
‘The changes that we are making today will build on an already robust system which is now the envy of the world. A strength of the points-based system is the flexibility to predict and respond to events.
‘By utilising the flexibility of the points-based system we are now ensuring that only those that we need to come to the UK to work can do so.
‘I will continue to ensure that immigration does not act as a disincentive for employers to employ and improve the skills of the British workforce.’