Starting 29 February 2008, the United Kingdom will be replacing the extension rules for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) with the new Tier 1 system for General Highly Skilled Migrants. The new rules are part of its five-tier points based immigration system that will be implemented over the course of the next year.
After 29 February, any migrants currently within the United Kingdom seeking to extend their leave to remain as a highly skilled migrant will be required to score enough points under the Tier 1 points based scoring system for General Highly Skilled Migrants.
The number of points a migrant must score to extend their visa under Tier 1 remains the same as the current HSMP rules. However, the MBA provision will be removed and migrants can claim points for UK work experience. English language requirements are also more stringent, approximately equal to an overall band score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
In April, people from India seeking to enter the UK as a highly skilled migrant for the first time will be required to come under the new Tier 1 rules. In the summer of 2008, the rest of the world will follow.