The United Kingdom will begin implementing its new points based immigration system in early 2008. The new system, broken into five "tiers", encompasses employment, business, and study-based immigration, from highly skilled workers to Working Holiday Makers and students.
Our site has a new section containing the most up-to-date information about the new points based system and how it will work. We will be updating this section as new information is released.
Programs such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and the UK Work Permits scheme will be replaced by the new points based tier system. Each tier is expected to have a number of sub-categories such as general highly skilled migrants, investors, and entrepreneurs under Tier 1. Each sub-category will have its own criteria for scoring points.
The breakdown of the tier system is as follows:
- Tier 1: Highly skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, and innovators
- Tier 2: Skilled workers with a job offer to fill shortages in the labor market
- Tier 3: Unskilled, temporary/seasonal labor (suspended indefinitely)
- Tier 4: Students
- Tier 5: Temporary workers such as Working Holiday Makers
The tiers will be implemented at different times. Tier 1 is expected to begin in March 2008, followed by Tier 2 and 5 in the third quarter of 2008. Tier 4 is expected to begin in early 2009. Tier 3 has been suspended indefinitely, with the UK expecting to fill unskilled labor from within the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Please note: When the HSMP is replaced by Tier 1, a few advantages to the current program will be lost. Any highly skilled individuals thinking about migrating to the UK would be advised to apply for HSMP now. We offer a free HSMP Assessment form and a convenient online Points Calculator to assess a person's chances of being granted an HSMP visa.