30 October 2008

Tier 2 and Tier 5 to go live in four weeks today

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This week, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas announced the date that the tiers 2 and 5 of the new points-based immigration system will go live. In four weeks today, on the 27 November 2008, tier 2 and tier 5 will replace many existing work-based schemes.

The Home Office has introduced changes to the immigration system this year to make it more in tune with the Australian points-based system.  Under the new system for UK migration, the Home Office has separated applications for migration under five tiers. 

Applications are assessed against a points-based system, where prospective migrants can earn points based on their age, experience, ability, and the level of need within that particular job sector.  For each tier, applicants need to earn a certain level of points before granted a visa for UK

The tier 2 category of migration allows skilled workers who have a job offer in the UK and are looking for employment to work, train or study in Britain.  Tier 2 also allows self-employed workers or prospective business owners to migrate to the UK.  Tier 2 will replace the current UK work permit scheme.

Tier 5 is the youth mobility and temporary workers category for migration, which allows foreign nationals to work temporarily for non-economic objectives.  This includes young working holidaymakers, sports people, creative artists, entertainers, charity workers, and religious workers.

As part of the new system, employers and institutions must apply for a licence to sponsor migrants to move to the United Kingdom.  All applicants in tiers 2 and 5 must give a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor when applying for a UK visa. 

When the tiers 2 and 5 go live on the 27 November, existing work-based schemes under the old system for migration will cease to exist.  For those living in the UK under one of those replaced schemes, the Home Office have provided transitional arrangement instructions on their website.  Any applications for migration under the old system will not be accepted after this date.

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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