Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Immigration limit for Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system

19 July 2010

From 19 July 2010, there are two important changes for migrants making initial applications under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system:

■the introduction of an interim limit for Tier 1 (General) applications made outside the UK, for the period until 31 March 2011; and
■an increase in the number of points required for an initial Tier 1 (General) application, from 95 to 100.
Interim limit for Tier 1 (General) applications
On 19 July 2010, the UK government introduced a limit on the number of initial applications from outside the UK that can be granted under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system until 31 March 2011.

The UK Border Agency is administering the limit on a monthly basis. However, the way that you apply for permission to enter the UK under Tier 1 (General) remains the same.

If your application meets all the requirements and the limit has not been reached for the month when you applied, we will issue you a visa in the usual way.

If your application meets all the requirements but the limit for that month would be exceeded if we issued you a visa, we will defer your application to the next month when the limit allocation reopens. If your application does not meet the requirements, we will process it as normal even if the limit has been exceeded. You can still submit your application even when a monthly limit has been reached.

All applications will be processed in the order in which they are received, as far as operationally possible. You will be informed in writing of the final decision on your application.

When making any travel plans, you should expect that your application may take longer than normal if the limit is reached.

The interim limit will not affect:

■applicants who are already in the UK (with current permission to stay in any immigration category);
■dependants of Tier 1 (General) applicants; or
■applicants to the Investor, Entrepreneur and Post-study work categories of Tier 1.
The Monthly Tier 1 (General) immigration limit page contains more information about the interim limit.

Increase in the points required for Tier 1 (General) applications
From 19 July 2010, the number of points required for an initial Tier 1 (General) application has increased from 95 to 100. Additionally:

■the points awarded to those with previous earnings of £150,000 have increased from 75 to 80; and
■the points awarded to those who have an eligible MBA have increased from 75 to 80.
These changes apply to all initial Tier 1 (General) applications paid for on or after 19 July 2010, whether they are made inside or outside the UK.

The points requirement will remain at 95 points for applicants who are currently in the UK under one of the following highly skilled worker categories:

■Tier 1 (General)
■Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
■Self-employed lawyer
■Writer, composer or artist

Sunday, July 4, 2010

UK Immigration has confirmed that the interim limit on Tier 1 (Genera) visas will start on 19 July 2010 (Previously it was thought to be 16 July 2010). The permanent limit on Tier 1 (General) applications under the points based system will start in April 2011. If you are affected by the Changes in the Tier 1 (General) points system and new Tier 1 limit you should consider applying before 19 July 2010.
The changes to the Tier 1 Visa System are as follows:
  • The passmark for the Tier 1 visa (General) will increase from 95 to 100 points from 19th July 2010 for many applicants. This will mean that fewer people will qualify for the Tier 1 (General) visa from 19th July 2010. Further details of people who do not have to come under the hight passmarks can be found below.

  • There will be a monthly interim limit on Tier 1 (General) visas from 19th July 2010. If in any one month your application is received after the limit is reached you will have to wait and your application will then be considered under the limit for the following month. The good news is that many people are excluded from this limit.

  • If you wish to come under the Investor, Entrepreneur and Post Study Work categories of Tier 1 you will not come under the interim limit. There will be no limit on the number of applications that can be made.

  • If you are applying for entry at a British Embassy or Consulate from outside the UK you will have to gain the higher 100 points to come under Tier 1 (General).
This is a major change to the Tier 1 visa system. If you are affected by the above changes and wish to apply under Tier 1 visa scheme you should consider applying as soon as possible. For many people, it will be more difficult in the future to come under the Tier 1 (General) Visa Scheme.

New Canadian Skilled Worker Occupations List Announced

Canadian Immigration plans to increase economic immigration in its 2010 plan. However, it is increasingly the case that you will need to have a job offer to come under the skilled worker category. Recently the number of indemand occupations that qualify under the skilled worker category has been reduced further to 29 in-demand occupations i.e.

1. Restuarant & Food Service Manager

2. Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)

3. Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners

4. Biologists and Related Scientists

5. Architects

6. Specialist Physicians

7. General Practitioners and Family Physicians

8. Dentists

9. Pharmacists

10. Physiotherapists

11. Registered Nurses

12. Medical Radiation Technologists

13 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists

14. Licensed Practical Nurses

15. Psychologists

16. Social Workers

17. Chefs

18. Cooks

19. Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades

20. Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades

21. Electricians (Execpt Industrial & Power System)

22. Industrial Electricians

23. Plumbers

24. Welders & Related Machine Operators

25. Crane Operators

26. Drillers & Blasters - Surface Minning, Quarring & Construction

27. Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanics

28. Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Services

29. Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management

Canadian Immigrant Investor scheme suspended - Investment requirements to double

Canadian immigration also intends to significantly increase the investment requirements for the immigrant investor program:

•A personal net worth of $1.6M instead of $800,000

•An investment requirement of $800,000 instead of $400,000
Canadian immigration feels that that the investment requirements are too low. The investment requirements have not changed for more than ten years. The current system attracts more applicants than are required each year under the immigration plan. This has resulted in an increase in processing times.

Canadian immigration will not be accepting any more Canadian immigrant investor applications until the new system is operational. This is to prevent a surge of applicants before the change in the immigration requirements.

Immigration Minister Kenney had the following to say about the immigrant investor program:

"Canada needs investor immigrants."

"These changes are necessary to keep Canada's program competitive with that of other countries, and keep pace with the changing economy