New rules for highly skilled migrant workers come into effect

Tier 1’s tougher requirements include a Master’s degree and a minimum salary of £20,000 31 March 2009. The Immigration Rules covering highly skilled migrant workers have changed today, raising the requirements of two categories in Tier 1 of the points-based system.

From today, anyone who applies for permission to enter the United Kingdom in the Tier 1 (General) category for the first time, or who applies to switch into the Tier 1 (General) category from another category, will need to have a Master’s degree and a minimum salary of £20,000 to score points for qualifications and earnings respectively.

Migrants applying to extend their permission to stay under Tier 1 (General) will not be affected by the changes.

The Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category has also changed. Anyone applying in this category from today will not be awarded points for Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates other than Postgraduate Certificates in Education (or PGDEs in Scotland only).

Any application submitted on or after 31 March will be considered under the new policy.

These changes follow the Home Secretary’s announcement on 22 February of new measures to "raise the bar" for foreign workers wishing to work in the United Kingdom.

Today has also seen changes to Tier 2 of the points-based system, which covers skilled workers.

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