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On 6 April 2010 it was announced that the next UK General Election will take place on 6 May 2010. According to recent opinion polls it seems likely that after the General Election there will be a new Conservative Government so ending 13 years of a Labour Government.
A new Conservative Government if elected intends to put numerical limits on the number of immigrants coming into the UK. Presumably this is likely to mean that there will be numerical limits on people coming into the UK on Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas and in other visa categories.
UK Immigration has said that they will be reviewing the salary multipliers used to convert past earnings from overseas to the equivalent UK earnings to calculate points for UK Tier 1 visas. The review had not been completed by 6 April 2010 which was the date that the latest changes came into effect and when the next UK General Election was announced. It is not certain exactly when the review will be completed and whether the current UK Government will have time to make any changes by the next General Election on 6 May 2010.
On 6 April 2010 a number of changes took place including an increase in the past earnings requirements to gain points under the Tier 1 visa scheme. One change that was beneficial to many people is that you can now gain points for having a Bachelors degree.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that H-1B visas continue to be available for the latest fiscal year. According to the latest announcement USCIS has received the following number of visa applications for Fiscal Year 2011:
- 13,500 H-1B petitions out of the 65,000 available visas under the general cap.
- 5,600 petitions for individuals with US Masters Degrees or higher out of the 20,000 available visas.
New changes from 7 April 2010 reduce the number of courses provided by many UK education providers. The changes to the immigration rules means that only education providers holding a new Highly Trusted sponsor licence can offer the following types of courses known as 'restricted courses' to Tier 4 (General) students:
- National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3 or equivalent
- Courses below degree level that include a work placement. If an education provider offers a foundation degree level course this can still be offered with a work placement by any Tier 4 (General) sponsor.
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