With effect from April 2011, the new UK ‘Highly Skilled’ Tier would be introduced. This new type of visa has replaced the Tier 1 General Visa, which was known as the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP). The UK Border Agency has stopped accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made from overseas since 23 December 2010.
Under the new Highly Skilled Tier Visa, entry in the UK would be open for entrepreneurs, investors and limited people under exceptional talent category. The new Tier 1 immigration system will concentrate on businessmen and people such as top scientists, artists and sports persons
Thus, from April 2011, only the limited few Entrepreneurs and Investors and people with Skilled Talents would only qualify under the new Highly Skilled Tier Visa and would make it to the UK
New Proposed Immigration Changes announced by the UK Government
The much awaited and anticipated changes in the UK immigration system have been clarified by the UK Government. As per The UK Border Agency (UKBA), changes that took place in April 2011 include a permanent immigration cap on skilled immigration, a new exceptional talent visa and new criteria for skilled workers with a job offer and intra-company transfers. Furthermore, significant changes in the rules for sponsoring non-EU workers would also come in effect.
It was brought forth that the Tier 1 General skilled immigration visa would end with effect from April 6’ 2011 and a new ‘Exceptional Talent’ visa would be introduced in its place. The UKBA confirmed that with effect from April’6’ 2011, an annual limit of 1,000 visa would be in place for the ‘exceptional talent’ visa category and for Tier 2 visa the annual limit is decided at 20,700.
Clarifying further, the UKBA announced that the total of Tier 2 visa would be divided into 12 monthly quotas of 1,500 places. Also, after the certificate of sponsorship has been granted to the employer, the same is to be assigned to the prospective employer within a span of 3 months. The new laid rules also put forth that the employers would be required to apply for the certificate of sponsorship from the UKBA for a specific post. Currently, an annual allocation of certificates of sponsorship is practiced.
Under the Tier 2 visa, all the Non- EU workers would be eligible if they are working in a graduate level job in the UK, speak at intermediate level English and meet certain salary and employment requirements.
Some changes in the Tier 2 visa intra-company transfer route are also on the cards like the applicants applying under this visa type must be in an occupation on the graduate occupation list. Also, the worker must be in an occupation that pays more than £40,000 per year, in case he intends to stay in the UK for more than one year. A three-year visa with a possibility of extending the visa for another two years is applicable for the workers who earn more than £40,000 a year.
However, no cap has been placed on the number of workers that can enter the UK though Tier 2 visa intra-company transfer route.