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UK to remove immigration categories

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The United Kingdom is in the process of introducing its new five-tier points based system that covers all employment, study, and training based immigration into the country. The tier system will replace a number of existing immigration categories which will be removed as each tier is implemented. Many migrants in the UK under these categories will be affected.

The UK has already begun enforcing part of the first tier which is expected to be fully implemented by summer of 2008 -- Tier 1 for General Highly Skilled Migrants. This sub-category of Tier 1 is replacing the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), and has already been implemented for people in the UK. In addition, people applying from India as highly skilled migrants have been required to come under the new rules as of 01 April 2008.

Sometime during the summer of 2008 (not before 30 June 2008), the UK will finish implementing Tier 1. Once this takes place, eight previously existing immigration categories will be removed:

When these categories are removed, migrants already in the UK under these schemes will be able to finish out the terms of their stay as long as they continue to honor the conditions of their leave to remain. They can then go on to extend their stay in the UK under the relevant new points based system category..

The UK Border Agency has stated that "wherever possible, [immigration authorities] will introduce arrangements to minimize the impact of the transition to the points based system." However, these arrangements will differ from category to category. will be expanding the website to cover all the transitional arrangements for immigration categories that are affected by the new points based system rules.