06 October 2008

UK team to review new immigration system in India

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The new immigration system introduced to the UK this year will be undergoing a review in India this week, reports Thaindian.

Six months after the new system was introduced, a team of UK officials will be visiting India to see if the Australian-style points-based system for migration is working successfully.

India was the first country to have the new system implemented on 01 April 2008, in which migrants are now classified under five tiers.  While Tier 1 for highly skilled migrants has been introduced, Tier 2 and Tier 5 (skilled migrants and temporary workers) will go live in November this year.  Tier 4 for students will begin early next year.

The UK team, which includes British parliamentarians, will discuss the new system with key stakeholders, businesses and visa applicants as well as Indian ministers and government officials.

In related news, new licences for UK employers to hire migrants are due to become compulsory this November, however according to Personnel Today, very few companies have applied for them.

The licences are part of the recent changes to the immigration system, in which visa applicants will need to earn points to support their applications.  The points-based system means that migrants’ applications for UK visas will be assessed on their ability, age, experience and the level of need within that particular job sector.

All employers of migrants from outside the EU on a UK skilled visa or temporary work visa will need to have a licence.  So far, thousands more will need to register for the UK Border Agency’s list of eligible sponsors. The Home Office has advised businesses to register by the start of October so inspections can be made in time for the introduction of the new immigration laws.

A UKBA spokesman told reporters last month, "Our message to businesses is loud and clear - if you want to employ foreign workers from outside the European Economic Area, you need to apply now for a sponsor licence."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.

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