Changes To The Points-Based Immigration System

Profession:Bird & Bird

Article by Ian Hunter, Stephen Musgrave and Jonathan


A raft of new measures are due to be implemented by the UK

Border Agency designed to ensure that British workers have every

possible opportunity to fill vacancies before employers are

permitted to recruit migrant workers.

In November 2008 the UK Border Agency dramatically overhauled

the way in which companies can employ migrant workers by

introducing Tier 2 of its Points-Based Immigration System


In February 2009 the UK Border Agency asked the Migration

Advisory Committee (a non-departmental public body which advises on

labour market shortages and other immigration matters) whether

there was an "economic case" for restructuring Tier

  1. The UK Border Agency yesterday (7 September 2009) accepted all

of the Migration Advisory Committee's 16 recommendations to

further amend Tier 2 of the PBS which were set out in its August

2009 report.

Although a specific date has not yet been set, the key changes

which are scheduled to come into force next year are that:

all jobs under the Tier 2 (General) category will have

to be advertised in JobCentre Plus for four weeks before companies

can look to recruit from outside the European Economic Area.

Currently, jobs must be advertised for one week if the salary is

over £40,000 or two weeks in all other cases;

employees of international companies will have to be employed

by the overseas company for, at least, one year (rather than six

months as at present) before they can transfer to working the UK

under the Intra-Company Transfer category;

the minimum salary that will allow an individual to qualify as

a skilled worker under Tier 2 will rise from £17,000 to


Clearly, these changes will impact upon the way in which

companies (particularly international organisations) can recruit

and transfer staff to the UK. We would therefore recommend


companies review their recruitment and...

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