-- Major Changes in UK Immigration System ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Major Changes in UK Immigration System

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced the major changes in the Points Based System (PBS), designed to reduce net migration, to build confidence in the Immigration System, to select the best and brightest to work/study in the United Kingdom (UK), and to bear down on the abuses of the system, according to a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) press release.

The Philippine Embassy in London advised Filipino nationals in the UK, especially those who plan to apply for entry to the UK under a work or study route, of the recently announced changes effective April 2011. The Tier 1 (Highly-Skilled Migrants) General Category will be closed to new applications while transitional arrangements will be introduced for existing Tier 1 visa holders looking to extend their stay.

Exceptional Talent Visas will be introduced for people in science and the arts.

Prospective Entrepreneur Visas will likewise be introduced and settlement in the UK for investors will be accelerated.

For Tier 2 (Skilled Migrants) Category, there will be a limit of 20,700 places for Out-of-Country (out of the UK) applications, as the route will become more selective and target the best workers.
Tier 2 will be reserved for graduate occupations determined by the UKBA and the Migrant Advisory Committee (MAC)–the current list includes nurses, medical practitioners, information technology (IT) operations technicians, finance/investment analysts and engineers.

The full list is posted on UKBA website.

Sponsors (Employers) will have to apply for Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) with the UKBA.
COS for Intra-Company transfers, In-Country applications (those already in the UK), and those earning over £150,000 per annum will not be affected by the new limit.

In the Tier 4 (Students) Category, all sponsors must be accredited by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) and its devolved equivalents.

All sponsors must also be a UKBA Highly Trusted Sponsor. University and publicly-funded further education colleges’ students will retain current work rights of 20 and 10 hours a week, respectively. All other students will have no right to work.

Only postgraduate and government-sponsored students on more than 12-month courses can bring dependents, and these dependants can work in the UK. Post-study work route will be closed except for those who have an offer of a skilled job under Tier 2. The current changes and limits will not apply to those who are already in the UK and who entered the country under a different set of guidelines.

Filipinos are advised to check detailed information on the guidelines and requirements for applying to work or study in the UK on the UKBA website. They are also advised to verify any job offers, particularly those secured online, with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) through the agency’s website or via email to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-UK (POLO): polo.london@yahoo.co.uk or embassy@philemb.co.uk.

Source: Ang OFW Ngayon


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