Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

Home Department written question – answered on 11th December 2006.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the UK who qualify to work under the highly skilled migrant programme scheme will fail to have their qualification renewed unless they find a job paying them more money.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality)

Information of this kind is not available. In order to qualify for further leave to remain as a highly skilled migrant under the new rules, applicants must now meet robust points criteria based on their qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience. It will also be mandatory for applicants to demonstrate a good standard of English language. The salary that an applicant needs to reach for their previous earnings to qualify for a highly skilled migrant programme extension will depend on the points awarded against the other criteria.

I have also announced transitional arrangements to avoid disadvantaging those who fail to meet the new requirements but are making a useful contribution to the UK. Those working in a skilled job, who do not meet the new criteria, will be allowed to switch into work-permit employment.

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