Economic migrants with high levels of skills and experience will be able to
enter the UK from January to seek work without a job offer, immigration
minister Lord Rooker announced last week.
The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme will introduce a points-based system to
assess the qualifications and experience of overseas applicants.
Applicants will need to obtain a minimum of 75 points from five scoring
areas, including educational qualifications, work experience, past earnings and
achievement in a chosen field.
Lord Rooker said, "At the moment it is not possible for individuals,
other than those with ancestral ties to the UK, to come to this country to seek
and take up work without a job offer.
"This makes it difficult to attract highly mobile people with the
special talents that are required in a modern economy. This programme is
specifically designed to help highly skilled migrants come to the UK and seek
The programme differs from the existing work permit scheme because it does
not require an employer to obtain the permit from the individual.
It will run for an initial 12-month period from 28 January.