Summary of UK HSMP Changes
17 November 2006
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The latest version of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was announced on 7 November 2006The Home Office for the United Kingdom is revising the overall immigration system for the country. Many changes are under way. Generally, all migration and immigration routes into the UK will be on a merit-based points system. The HSMP visa is to be incorporated into the five-tiered system which is expected to be in place by April of 2009.
We enclose a summary of the main changes to the HSMP below:
1. The points requirement has gone up to 75 points; However, with the other changes some people may find it easier to come under the new HSMP system.
2. The work experience, achievements in a chosen field, HSMP Priority Applications for General Practitioners and the Partners Achievements sections have been removed. However, even though the previous work experience section has been removed you can now gain 5 points for UK work experience which is something that was not available before.
3. You now gain from 20 points for being 27 years of age or under to 5 points for being 30 or 31 years of age.
4. You now gain more points for academic qualifications; from 30 points for a Bachelors degree to 50 points for a PhD. It is now not possible to gain enough points to come under HSMP unless you have at least a bachelors degree or a professional qualification. Note that there is an MBA Provision, under which you gain access to an HSMP visa as long as you meet certain basic requirements.
5. The maximum number of points you can gain under the previous earning section has gone down to 45 points from 50 points; However with the other changes it is easier for people who are over 28. Note specifically that earnings are scaled to the specific region of origin for the applicant. Locate your country code.
6. If you have UK work experience or a UK bachelors degree you will now gain 5 points.
7. To show English language ability you need to have a bachelors degree that was taught in English (not a Masters degree or PhD), or possess an International English Language Testing System qualification at least at Band 6 which is less than two years old.
8. Even if you are already on HSMP you will still need to come under the new criteria for an extension as announced on 7 November 2006. There has already been talk of a legal challenge to the Governments new requirements for an HSMP extension. The government has also announced that it will make some "transitional arrangements," full details of which have not yet been published.
9. The Government has now made it clear that you must submit all supporting documentation with your application. If you miss out any documentation that is required to prove your case the application will be considered on the basis of the information and documentation provided. You will not have an opportunity to submit any more documentation. It therefore follows that if you miss out any relevant documentation your application is likely to be refused.
10. If the HSMP application is refused you can now only request a maximum of one review of the decision. There is no Government fee for the review of the decision. Previously, you could ask for a maximum of two reviews of the decision. However, it remains the case that reviews can only be considered on the basis of the information already provided. If you wish to produce any new information or documentation you will have to submit a fresh application and pay the relevant Government fee for a new HSMP application.
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