Financial obstacles for workers and students coming to Britain

Overseas skilled workers and students will have to face financial obstacles before entering the UK

05 November 2008. The main elements of the government’s new points-based system will be introduced on November 27. And the highly skilled migrants who want to work in the UK will have to prove they have thousands of pounds in their bank accounts to support themselves and their families during their first month in Britain before they can apply.

The detailed Home Office guidance mentions that each highly skilled migrant must show that they have in their bank account for at least three months the local equivalent of £2,800 for themselves and £1,600 for each family member or £7,600 for a typical family of four.

The new rules require the applicant to keep the money in their bank account for at least three months before they apply without ever dropping a penny below the sum. The skilled migrants will have to demonstrate that they have £533 a head for each family member coming with them before they can apply.

The new rules will also require overseas students who want to come to Britain to study for 12 months or more to show they have £9,600 for themselves and £535 for each dependent in addition to the funds to pay their fees in full.

A Home Office spokesman said that the £2,800 represented a cash reserve for highly skilled migrants to support themselves for just over three months as they were not entitled to public funds.
The student rate of £800 a month followed a British Council recommendation: "We think this is a fair, reasonable amount to require them to have," he said.

The points-based system only covers migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. There are some restrictions on nationals of countries that have recently joined the EEA.

The Point-Based Immigration System force employers to recruit first from the UK and EU before recruiting migrants from outside the EU. The system therefore is now focused primarily on bringing in migrants who are highly skilled or to do key jobs that cannot be filled from the domestic labour force or from the EU. It also means to facilitate the entry of international students to achieve higher and further education.

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