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Immigration rules to be relaxed for skilled workers

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In a new revision of immigration procedures, the government plans to facilitate entry for “highly mobile people with the special talents that are required in a modern economy”, according to Home Office minister Lord Rooker.

The Highly Skilled Migration programme will allow the entrant one year initially. Unlike the work permit scheme, it does not require guarantees by an employer, business plans or an ability to invest in the UK. Applications for the scheme will be considered under a points scheme, measuring experience, qualifications, previous earnings and achievements. There is also a mechanism for recruiting doctors.

Potential immigrants have to apply before entering the UK, and can get application forms through the Home Office or Foreign & Commonwealth Office websites. Applications will also be accepted at the nearest British Embassy or High Commission and referred to a central unit in the United Kingdom.

Two of the points categories are explained below. The prior earnings rating is a sliding scale with adjustments made by which country the money was earned in. “In order to reflect differences in income level across the world the level required to qualify varies depending where the applicant lives.” (eg you get 25 points for earning £15,000 pa in Sudan or the Ukraine, from the EU or the US you would need to have been earning £40,000 to get 25 points).

· Educational qualifications
This area provides for a maximum of 30 points for those holding a PHD, 25 for those with a Masters degree and 15 for those with a Graduate Degree.
· Work Experience
Score 15 points for at least 5 years’ work experience in a graduate level job (three years with a PhD)
Additional 10 points for two years working at a senior level or in a specialist position within chosen field


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