HSMP differs from the work permit scheme as it does not require an employer to obtain a permit for the individual. It is also different from the existing business routes (e.g. the Innovators scheme or other business categories), in that it does not require a detailed business plan or investment in the UK.
You can claim points if you are under 32 years of age:
Age in years
27 or under - 20 points
28 or 29 - 10 points
30 or 31 - 5 points
32 and over - 0 points
You will receive points for one of the following:
You will gain points depending on your income in any period of 12 months in the last fifteen months or if you are a student the fifteen months before you became a student. In order to reflect differences in income levels across the World the level required to qualify varies depending on where the applicant lives.
Earnings that have not been declared to the appropriate authorities will not be accepted when calculating income.
Country Code A Including Germany, France, Singapore, USA, Canada, Australia, Bermuda, Israel, Japan, South Korea
You can gain five points under the following circumstances:
You gain points under the past earnings category and your earnings were in the UK.
You have studied and graduated at Bachelors degree or higher in full time education in the UK or at a UK based overseas educational institution for at least one academic year.
You need to have a bachelors degree that was taught in English (not a Masters degree or PhD).
You need to possess an International English Language Testing System qualification at least at Band 6 less than two years old.
Depending on your circumstances following approval of HSMP you may need to apply for entry clearance at the nearest British Embassy or High Commission. The applications will be referred to a central unit of Immigration staff based in Sheffield in the United Kingdom.
Successful applicants will be granted leave to enter the UK for two years, and after this further leave to remain will be granted where evidence of employment is supplied.
In-country switching will be allowed for those already in the UK in categories leading to permanent residence*, or who are already explicitly permitted to switch into work permit employment. This will allow, for example, graduating students and doctors to apply for the HSMP providing that they meet the following criteria:
This is a permanent programme since 31 October 2003. Proof for all the criteria must be supplied with the individual's application in support of their claim. Under HSMP applicants will initially be granted 24 months' stay in the UK. Then towards the end of the twenty-four month period applicants can apply to remain in the same capacity for a further period of up to three years. After five years as a highly skilled migrant, applicants can apply for permanent residence*. Please note that periods spent in other categories that lead to permanent residence will count towards the five years.
If you would like to evaluate your situation in more detail we have put together a detailed analysis of the points requirement on this site. If you think that you may qualify for this programme please telephone us on +44 (0) 20 7842 0800 or complete our assessment form.
* - properly known as "settlement" or "indefinite leave to remain".