The United Kingdom will introduce a new points-based system in 2008 for non-European Union migrants wishing to work in the country. The sytem will encompass individuals wishing to come to Britain to work, train, or study.
The system -- composed of five "tiers" -- will be phased in gradually, with Tier 1 for highly skilled migrants being the first section to be implemented during the first quarter of 2008. The following is the complete list of tiers:
- Tier 1: Tier 1: Highly skilled migrants (expected to replace the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
- Tier 2: Skilled workers with a job offer to fill shortages in UK labor market
- Tier 3: Limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill specific temporary labor shortages
- Tier 4: Students
- Tier 5:Youth mobility and temporary workers: people allowed to work in the UK for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives (Working Holiday Makers)
One of requirements for entry will be the ability to demonstrate an acceptable knowledge of the English language. Levels of English language ability accepted will depend on the tier the applicant wishes to immigrate under. One of the ways they can prove this will be evidence that they have passed an English language test.
The Border and Immigration Agency will only accept tests that have been assessed as meeting their requirements. A list of accepted tests will be published in future "guidance" information so that a potential migrant will know whether the test they propose to take will be acceptable by the UK immigration authority.
The first release of guidance about the Tier 1 points-based system for highly skilled migrants will be published in the first quarter of 2008.