Points based system not to affect UK IT immigration

Overseas IT specialists migrating to the UK will most likely to be awarded the highest status in the UK Home Office's points-based immigration system.

The points ranking system for immigrants wishing to live and work in the UK, will categorise migrants in accordance to their skills and abilities. Most IT specialists wanting to immigrate will score highly in the new system of weightings and trade-offs.

Higher skilled IT candidates holding degrees or a PhD will need no employer sponsorship and can bring their immediate family to the UK.

The Home Secretary, Charles Clarke believes potential migrants in the computer services sector will qualify in the highest tier of the system. Those with less specialised skills in the industry will still find it easy to work in the UK, providing they have a job offer, Clarke said.

Potential migrants will be given ratings in accordance to how they fit the needs of UK businesses.

IT skilled shortages are a common issue for UK companies. Firms that I've spoken to are happy that IT shortfalls are addressed by the points based system coming into effect mid 2007 and emphasis is given to higher level skills such as IT specialists, said Damien Green, Tory spokesman from immigration.

Clarke said for the UK to stay internationally competitive it needs to recruit globally and this will benefit both employers and the economy. Currently 17% of all UK work permits are issued to the computer services sector.