Changes to UK Points Based System from 31 March 2009

It is important to note that from 31 March 2009 there will be significant changes to Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the points based system:

  • The academic and financial requirements for Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) will come into effect for all applications submitted on or after 31 March 2009. For Tier 1 (General) you will need to have at least a masters degree and have earned at least GBP20,000.
  • The changes to Tier 1 (General) will apply to initial applications for entry from outside the UK and to applications to switch into Tier 1 (General) from another category.
  • Applications for Tier 1 (General) extensions will be unaffected by the changes.
  • Changes to the resident labour market test for applications under Tier 2 will mean that skiled jobs will need to be advertised in the UK before being offered to migrant workers.
  • Changes to the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category mean that applicants will not be awarded points for Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates other than Postgraduate Certificates in Education.

From 31 March 2009, an employer wishing to sponsor a migrant to do a job under Tier 2 (General) will not pass the test unless the job has been:

  • advertised to settled workers in Jobcentre plus; and
  • advertised using one other method permitted by the relevant code of practice.

This follows on from the UK Home Secretary's announcement on 22 February of new measures to "raise the bar" for foreign workers wishing to work in the United Kingdom.