05 December 2007

UK Immigration minister announces statement of intent on points system

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Further details emerged today of the new points-based immigration system for non-EU workers, as the minister for immigration, citizenship, and nationality announced the publication of a statement of intent.

The Statement of Intent of Sponsorship under the Points Based System (PBS) is an indication of current Home Office policy intention, which could yet be amended.

The PBS will operate in four out of the five tiers of immigrant and the statement provides guidance as to how sponsorship of highly skilled migrants (tier one) under the PBS will operate.

Four of the five tiers will require applicants to obtain sponsorship from a licensed UK employer or educational institution before they can come to the UK.

Licensed sponsors will have the responsibility of assessing the suitability of the migrant to the proposed job or course of study.

The new system will be phased in over the next few years and the statement indicated the sponsorship register will be introduced in the first quarter of 2008.

Law firm Mishcon Reya describes the new system as a "significant departure from the current immigration system", as is the concept of sponsors taking on duties and obligations with respect to migrants.

Anyone interested in getting a better understanding of their current position under UK visa regulations should request a call from a qualified UK Visa Bureau migration consultant to see if they are eligible for migration to the UK, or call direct on Freephone 0800 043 7011. Alternatively, HSMP visa hopefuls should try taking the HSMP online assessment.

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