Introduction to Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

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Call the London Office on +44 (0)20 7842 0800 for a consultation or an appointment.
The latest version of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was announced on 07 November 2006.

Since 5 December 2006 applications can again be submitted under HSMP. The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme had recently been suspended for a short time. A Summary of UK HSMP Changes, as of 07 November, 2006 has been placed here.

You will need to obtain a minimum of 75 points from the following 5 scoring areas:

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.

1. Age Assessment - 20 points (maximum)

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

2. Educational qualifications - 50 points (maximum), Except for MBA Provision (75 points)

You will receive points for one of the following:

3. Past Earnings - 45 points (maximum)

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

  • £16,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • £18,000 per annum = 10 Points
  • £20,000 per annum = 15 Points
  • £23,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • £26,000 per annum = 25 Points
  • £29,000 per annum = 30 Points
  • £32,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • £35,000 per annum = 40 Points
  • £40,000 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code B Including Poland, Brazil, South Africa, Libya, Hungary, Chile, Mexico, Estonia, Turkey

  • £7,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • £8,000 per annum = 10 Points
  • £9,000 per annum = 15 Points
  • £10,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • £11,500 per annum = 25 Points
  • £12,500 per annum = 30 Points
  • £14,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • £15,313 per annum = 40 Points
  • £17,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code C Including Jamaica, Russia, Iran, Morocco, Peru, Tunisia, Thailand, Algeria, Romania

  • £5,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • £5,600 per annum = 10 Points
  • £6,300 per annum = 15 Points
  • £7,200 per annum = 20 Points
  • £8,100 per annum = 25 Points
  • £9,100 per annum = 30 Points
  • £10,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • £11,000 per annum = 40 Points
  • £12,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code D Including China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bangladesh

  • £3,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • £3,400 per annum = 10 Points
  • £3,800 per annum = 15 Points
  • £4,300 per annum = 20 Points
  • £4,900 per annum = 25 Points
  • £5,500 per annum = 30 Points
  • £6,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • £6,600 per annum = 40 Points
  • £7,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code E Including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda

  • £1,400 per annum = 5 Points
  • £1,600 per annum = 10 Points
  • £1,800 per annum = 15 Points
  • £2,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • £2,300 per annum = 25 Points
  • £2,550 per annum = 30 Points
  • £2,800 per annum = 35 Points
  • £3,100 per annum = 40 Points
  • £3,500 per annum = 45 Points

UK Experience - 5 Points (Maximum)

You can gain five points under the following circumstances:

You gain points under the past earnings category and your earnings were in the UK.

or

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.

English Language Ability

You need to have a bachelors degree that was taught in English (not a Masters degree or PhD).

or

You need to possess an International English Language Testing System qualification at least at Band 6 less than two years old.

Applications

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".