Major changes to immigration rules announced

Newly announced changes to the Immigration Rules will provide additional flexibility for businesses, and enable top international students to pursue their careers in the UK, Home Office has said.

The government is extending the offer already available for highly skilled migrants to encourage the brightest and best global talent to come to the UK to study, work, invest and set up business.

Gifted international students who wish to begin their career in the UK will also benefit from a number of changes.

From April the UK Border Agency will expand the Graduate Entrepreneur scheme to allow up to 1,000 international MBA graduates from British universities to stay in the UK for a year after graduating.

These graduates will be able to develop their own business idea, or work in a start-up, after which they will have the option to stay on in the UK as a skilled worker or entrepreneur.

All international graduates are already able to remain in the UK after their studies if they get a graduate level job. In addition to this, the UKBA are creating greater flexibility for successful PhD students by allowing them to stay on after their studies for up to a year and work, without having to switch routes. This is in recognition of the unique contribution university research has on the education system and the economy.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “The latest net migration statistics show numbers are now coming under control and our radical changes are having the desired effect – abuse has been stamped out and net migration is down, while the number of skilled workers and university students coming to the UK is up.”

Mr. Harper said the newly announced changes “will help ensure this pattern continues – we are lowering administrative burdens on employers and giving greater flexibility to those senior executives and elite graduates who want to work and study here.”

Intra-Company Transferees (ICT) who are paid more than £152,100 will no longer have to take an English test if they want to extend their leave in the UK.

The UKBA are also reducing the amount of documents ICTs have to provide in order to prove they have worked for their company for over a year.

Skilled workers paid more than £152,100 who have worked here previously will now be able to take up another role in the UK without having to wait 12 months between postings. This will improve businesses’ ability to recruit and transfer the very best global talent.

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