Employment: Significant changes to the UK points-based Immigration Rules from 6 April 2010

January 4, 2010

On 18 March 2010 the Home Office announced changes to the Tier 1 (highly skilled workers) and Tier 2 (skilled workers with a job offer) which impact all applications made on or after 6 April 2010

Changes to Tier 1 (General)

New points criteria have been introduced which widen the applicability of the Tier:

In a reversal of previous policy, successful first-time applicants under this tier will now be granted leave to remain for a shorter period of two years initially (rather than three years) but successful applications for an extension will be granted a further three years (rather than two years).  The new points table will not apply to migrants who are in the UK in Tier 1 (General) with leave granted before 6 April 2010.

Changes to Tier 2 (General) and (Intra-Company Transfer)

Again, a new points table has been introduced which is intended, in part, to offer more flexibility for multinational companies to transfer employees on a short term basis between associated companies.

In particular:


Although the changes will widen the Tier 1 rules to allow migrants with little or no formal education to qualify for immigration, the Government has commented that the changes will mean “that only those that we need to come to the UK to work can do so”.

Immigration is a hot topic in the current General Election campaign and the Conservative party has pledged to set specific limits on the numbers of non-EEA residents permitted to come and live and work in the UK.  A change in Government may signal further changes to the points-based immigration system.


Home Offices Statement of Changes 18 March 2010

For further information or to discuss the issues raised, please contact Colina Greenway (colina.greenway@abbisscadres.com) on +44 (0) 203 051 5711.


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