The UK Border Agency has announced a number of changes to UK immigration rules, intended to benefit both International students and businesses. They will come into effect from 6th April 2013. The changes aim to create greater flexibility and ensure that the best and brightest talent can come to the UK to work, study and invest in business.
The changes outlined included:
- Tier 2, to improve the flexibility for intra-company transferees and for employers carrying out the resident labour market test.
- The Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route, to include additional places for talented MBA graduates from UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This will also include the UK Trade and Investment’s elite global graduate entrepreneur scheme.
- Tier 4, to allow completing PhD students to stay in the UK for one year beyond the end of their course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur.
- The Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route, to split the application process so that applicants will no longer have to pay the full fee up front. This will also mean applicants will not have to submit their passport to them while their application for endorsement by a designated competent body is being considered.
- The shortage occupation list and the codes of practice for skilled workers.
Businesses will benefit, with Intra-Company Transferees (ICT) who are paid more than £152,100 no longer having to take an English test if they want to extend their leave in the UK. The amount of documents ICTs must provide in order to show they have worked for their company for over a year are also being reduced.
Additionally, skilled staff working in the UK and paid more than £152,100 will no longer have to wait 12 months before taking up a new post, improving businesses’ ability to recruit the very best global talent.
Immigration Minister, Mark Harper, commented that ‘We are lowering administrative burdens on employers and giving greater flexibility to those senior executives and elite graduates who want to work and study here.’
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