Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
Changes to the Immigration Rules (as of 07th November 2006)


A change in the Immigration Rules for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)  was announced on 7 November 2006 by Liam Byrne, British Minister for Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship. The changes are due to take place with immediate effect. This means that all the applicants for HSMP status will now have to meet the new qualifying criteria for HSMP, announced on 7 November 2006. The new scheme will assess the applicants’ capability in benefiting the British economy and will assess the applications on the basis of applicant’s qualifications, previous earnings, previous UK experience as a student or employee, age and participation in an MBA scheme. An additional new requirement for all HSMP applicants from 7 November 2006 is a mandatory English language test.

Applicants are required to obtain 75-points to qualify for HSMP under the new assessment criteria.

Further information on the changes can be found at www.workingintheuk.gov.uk

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate has now suspended HSMP applications until 5 December 2006.  New applicants for HSMP under the new criteria will not be able to submit their applications before 5 December 2006.  Applications under the old HSMP criteria have now been stopped with immediate effect.   This means that even those applications that were submitted before 7 November 2006, but are still under consideration at the Home Office, will remain valid but will now be assessed under the newly announced criteria.  Applicants with outstanding applications will be given the opportunity to submit new information if necessary in order for their applications to comply with the new HSMP assessment criteria.

It is also notable that those persons who currently have HSMP conditions will not be able to apply for an extension of their existing HSMP conditions solely on the basis that they have ‘taken all reasonable steps to become lawfully economically active through either employment or self-employment’.  Instead such applicants will be required to evidence that they meet the new points system applicable to current HSMP applicants and are able to meet the mandatory English language test.

Entry clearance and settlement applications under HSMP will continue to be decided as normal.

The newly issued HSMP criteria may mean that applicants who were unable to qualify under the old HSMP criteria may qualify under the new scheme. 

For a free assessment of your circumstances under the newly published HSMP criteria please contact us on 020 8406 8050 or send an e-mail to: contact@williamlamb.co.uk

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