UK Immigration: Tier 1 Work Visas

UK Immigration: Tier 1 Work Visas

The (MAC) has recommended
that the four Tier 1 highly skilled migration routes (i.e., the
general, post-study work, entrepreneur and
investor routes) of the UK’s should be

The Government’s objective for Tier 1 is to attract and retain people who
will increase the skills and knowledge of the UK workforce, while maintaining
the flexibility of the UK labour market.

For the general route, MAC recommends:

  • people with an undergraduate degree as their highest qualification should be
    allowed in under the general route, subject to high previous

  • the points available under the general route should be
    updated to ensure that only the most highly skilled immigrants are

  • the initial leave to remain entitlement under the general
    route should be reduced from three to two years, with a three year
    extension subject to evidence that the individual is in highly skilled

  • the Government rapidly and thoroughly review the salary multipliers used to
    convert prior earnings from outside the UK into a UK equivalent; &

  • the UK Border Agency consider the operational feasibility of an employer
    acting as a guarantor for an individual’s maintenance requirement.

For the post-study work route, MAC recommends:

  • the Government carry out research into the economic returns of studying at
    particular educational institutions and for particular degree subjects in the
    UK; &

  • the grant of leave under this route remain at its current level of two

For the entrepreneur route, MAC recommends:

  • the UK Border Agency dedicate sufficient resources to examine whether jobs
    created by individuals represent a genuine net increase in jobs.

MAC chairman Professor David Metcalf, said:

“The highly skilled route of the points based system is very important to the
UK economy.  Therefore, it should be maintained and improved in order to ensure
that the UK continues to attract the brightest and best.

“We are clear, however, that .  Immigration should not serve as a disincentive to employers to
invest in training to improve the skills of workers in Britain. 

“The recommendations that we have made will ensure that the system is robust
enough to deal with the changing global economy and that the UK remains
attractive for foreign investment.”

It is now for the Government to decide whether and when to accept these
recommendations, as well as the timescales for implementation.

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