Saturday, November 28, 2009

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Highly Skilled Migrant Programme(HSMP)


The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is now closed to new applicants. If you wish to work in the United Kingdom and are currently outside the United Kingdom or are here under a different immigration category, you should now apply as a highly skilled worker (Tier 1 General) under the points-based system.


However, if you made your application before 29 February 2008, before 31 March 2008 if you made your application in India, or before 30 June if you made your application from elsewhere, it will still be processed. If you meet the requirements, you will receive an HSMP approval letter. You can then use this letter to apply for permission to come to or stay in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled worker (Tier 1 General). For further details see Transitional arrangements for HSMP.



If you already have an HSMP approval letter, you can use it in your home country to apply for permission to come to the United Kingdom (known as entry clearance) as a highly skilled worker (Tier 1 General). For further details see Transitional arrangements for HSMP. If you have an HSMP approval letter but are not in a category that can switch into Tier 1 (General) while still in the United Kingdom, you can return to your home country and apply for entry clearance from there. For example, working holidaymakers cannot apply to switch into Tier 1 (General) while they are in the United Kingdom even if they already have an HSMP approval letter.


An HSMP approval letter is valid for six months.
Time spent in the United Kingdom under the HSMP may count towards the qualifying period for permanent residency (settlement) in the United Kingdom.

Eligibility


This page explains the requirements you must meet to be accepted into the highly skilled worker category (Tier 1 General) of our points-based system to work in the United Kingdom.
Full details of all requirements are in the immigration rules at paragraphs 245G of part 6A, and Appendix A, B and C, which you can find on the right of this page. You must read the policy guidance before you apply under this category. You can download the guidance and application form from the Applying section.

What points you have to score to apply as a highly skilled worker ?



To apply under our points-based system and be accepted into the highly skilled worker category, you must pass a points-based assessment.

You must score:


  • 75 points for your attributes (age, qualifications, previous earnings, and experience in the United Kingdom); and


  • 10 points for English language; and


  • 10 points for available maintenance (funds).

If you do not score a minimum of 75 points for your attributes and 10 points for English language and 10 points for available maintenance (funds), your application will be refused.
Use the points based calculator to calculate how many points you have and whether you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled worker under the points-based system.

How the points differ for first-time applications and extension applications ?


The requirements that you must meet in order to be awarded points differ depending on whether you are:


  • applying to enter the highly skilled worker category for the first time (initial applications) ; or


  • applying to extend your existing permission to stay in this category (extension applications), or


  • applying to extend existing permission to stay given to you under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

You should read all the information in this section before you apply. You must pay the correct fee with your application, and send the correct supporting evidence to support your application. If you make an application and it is unsuccessful because you do not meet the requirements, we will not refund your fee. See the section on costs for details of the fees.
If you have an HSMP approval letter, you should read the section on transitional arrangements for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
If you meet the requirements in this section, read the section on initial applications for information on how to apply.
If you are in the United Kingdom now under a different immigration category, read the section on initial applications to find out if you qualify, because you can only switch into this category in certain circumstances.

(Tier 1 General)


This section explains how you can come to the United Kingdom or remain here as a highly skilled worker (Tier 1 General) under our points-based system.

What is the highly skilled worker category?


The highly skilled worker category is designed to allow highly skilled people to come to the United Kingdom to look for work or self-employment opportunities

Who can apply as a highly skilled worker?


Unlike sponsored skilled workers (who are covered by tier 2 of the points-based system), you do not need a job offer to apply under the highly skilled worker category. When you apply, you are awarded points based on your qualifications, previous earnings, United Kingdom experience, age, English language skills and available maintenance (money).
You can apply under the highly skilled worker category now if you are:


  • already in the United Kingdom with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') in an immigration category that allows you to switch into the highly skilled worker category;


  • already in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled worker and you want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category;


  • already in the United Kingdom under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), you want to extend your permission to stay and you are eligible to switch into the highly skilled worker category; or


  • outside the United Kingdom and you are eligible to apply for permission to enter (known as 'entry clearance') under the highly skilled worker category.

Go to visa services website if you are applying from outside the United Kingdom. There you can find out more about the process in the country you are applying from, and download the application forms.


What to do if you already have an HSMP approval letter ?


If you have an HSMP approval letter, you should read the section on transitional arrangements for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008 (extension of stay)?


If you have an HSMP approval letter that was issued under the requirements in place before 7 November 2006, and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the United Kingdom on the basis of the letter, you may be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008. You should see the section on the HSMP Forum judicial review (extension of stay) for more information before you proceed with a Tier 1 (General) application.

You will not be affected by this judgment if you joined the HSMP under the arrangements in place from 5 December 2006.

Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009 (settlement in the United Kingdom)?


If we sent you an HSMP approval letter on the basis of an application made before 7 November 2006, and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the United Kingdom on the basis of that letter, you may be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009.
You should see the section on the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review (settlement in the United Kingdom) for more information. This will tell you whether you are affected by the judgment, and will help you decide what to do next.

Initial applications

It applies if you are in the United Kingdom in any category except as a highly skilled worker (Tier 1 General) or under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. If you are already in either of these two categories, you should read the section on extending your stay.

You should read the section on eligibility first, to make sure you meet the requirements to apply.

How to apply if you are already in the United Kingdom ?

The process for applying is:

Step 1: complete a self-assessment online using our points-based calculator to find out if you are likely to score enough points.

Step 2: fill in the highly skilled worker application form.

Step 3: send it to us with your fee and supporting evidence.

We strongly advise you to send all supporting documents with your application. We will not consider any evidence sent in after we have made a decision.
If you are sending any dependant applications at the same time as your own application, we encourage you to send your application and dependant applications in the same envelope or you must pay a seperate dependant fee.


The immigration categories from which you can switch into the highly skilled worker category


If you are in the United Kingdom and wish to stay as a highly skilled worker, you will need to be sure that you can switch into this category.

Switching into this category is allowed if you currently hold leave in the following categories:



  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP);
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland;
  • International Graduates Scheme (IGS);
  • innovator;
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist;
  • student;
  • student nurse;
  • student re-sitting an exam;
  • student writing up a thesis;
  • work permit holder;
  • business person;
  • self-employed lawyer;
  • writer,composer or artist;
  • entrepreneur (tier 1);
  • investor (tier 1);
  • post-study worker (tier 1);
  • a skilled worker (tier 2 General);
  • an intra-company transferee (tier 2);
  • a minister of religion (tier 2); or
  • a sportsperson (tier 2);


The conditions you must meet to extend your stay if you apply and are already in the United Kingdom


Leave to remain (permission to stay) is subject to the following conditions:

  • you must have no recourse to public funds, which means you will not be able to claim most benefits paid by the state; and
  • you must register with the police if this is needed by paragraph 326 in part 10 of the immigration rules.
You may not be not employed as a doctor in training unless:

  • you were last given entry clearance, or leave to enter or remain, as a highly skilled migrant or as a postgraduate doctor or dentist;
  • you were last given entry clearance or leave to remain as a highly skilled worker and that was not subject to a condition prohibiting employment as a doctor in training; or
  • you submit a valid Highly Skilled Migrant Programme approval letter, and your application for that approval letter was made on or before 6 February 2008.
If you are already in the United Kingdom and are sending any dependant applications at the same time as your own application, we encourage you to send your application and dependant applications in the same envelope, or you must pay a separate dependant fee.

How to apply if you are outside the United Kingdom


The process for applying if you are outside the United Kingdom is:

Step 1: complete a self-assessment online using our points-based calculator to find out if you are likely to score enough points.

Step 2: go to the visa services website, which you can find on the right of this page, to find out if you must submit any personal details in the country you are applying from and to find the application form.

Step 3: take or send your form(s), fee and supporting evidence to the visa application centre. You must also arrange to give your biometrics, which are usually taken at the visa application centre.

We strongly advise you to bring all supporting documents with your application. We will not consider any evidence provided after we have made a decision.



If you are given entry clearance as a highly skilled worker from outside of the United Kingdom, you will be able to live and work in the United Kingdom for a maximum period of three years. When the end of this period approaches you will need to apply to extend your stay as a highly skilled worker.

The conditions you must meet if you apply from outside the United Kingdom


Leave to remain is subject to the following conditions:
  • you must have no recourse to public money which means you will not be able to claim most benefits paid by the state;
  • you must register with the police if this is needed by paragraph 326 in part 10 of the immigration rules;
  • you may not be not employed as a doctor in training unless you submit a valid Highly Skilled Migrant Programme approval letter, and your application for that approval letter was made on or before 6 February 2008.

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