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June - July 2008

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Is the new immigration law going to affect the future of Indians aspiring to work in the UK?

by Shital Gaur

In forthcoming days, the Immigration law in UK is going to witness a sea-change, spelling a doom over the future of all those aspirants who seek to live and work in UK. After restructuring the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme into a stringent Tier 1 Point Based system since February 2008, the UK Border and Immigration Agency is all set to change the existing set of rules governing work permit.

The existing law regulating issuance of Work Permit in UK is going to be replaced by ‘Tier 2’ a Point Based system which will be coming into force from autumn 2008. The new law would lay down more stringent and robust rules to ensure that only ‘the best’ can work in UK which would lead UK in becoming a global leader.

What is Tier 2?

The law regulating Work permit is now going to be replaced by Tier 2 Point Based system which will be enforced from Autumn 2008. This Tier 2 Point based system has introduced a new concept of ‘sponsorship’. Under the Tier 2 system, any migrant coming to UK (other than under Tier 1) for work will now need a ‘sponsor’ to be eligible to work here.

Who could be a sponsor?

In most cases such sponsors can be a business, company or college in UK who wishes to employ a non EEA (European Economic Area) migrant or to admit a student onto a course. In order to become a sponsor an organisation needs to be licensed by the Border and Immigration agency and it also needs to be registered in UK

Licensing of the sponsors is the key factor in the Tier 2 system as it will subject the migrants and employers to tough control including the following:

In order to employ or teach migrants in UK, an employer must apply for a Licence from the Border and Immigration Agency

After obtaining the licence they can issue Certificate of Sponsorships to the migrants whom they wish to employ and in case of students it would be a Confirmation of Acceptance of their studies

Prior entry clearance is essential for migrants

A sponsorship certificate no way guarantees the issuance of a visa and the candidate will need to comply with other Immigration rules and if an application and the documents supporting it cannot be independently verified, it will be refused.

Presently, applications for two categories under Tier 2 system like Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker and Tier 2- intra-company transfers are being accepted by the Border and Immigration agency.

Tier 2 (General) skilled worker: This category applies to skilled people with a job offer who are looking for employment in UK

Tier 2 –intra-company transfers: This category applies to sponsors who are transferring employees within an organisation to a skilled job under Tier 2.

What are the overriding factors for the Border and Immigration agency in deciding on a licence application?

Applicant must be a bona fide organisation operating lawfully in UK. This will be verified by going through relevant documents of the company

Applicant must be trustworthy. This will be verified by looking at the history and background of the organisation.

Applicant/organisation is capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor. This will be verified by considering the organisation’s processes and Human Resource Practices.

In addition to the above factors, The Tier 2 system has imposed additional requirements on Intra-company transfers, educational institutions and employment agencies.

Intra-company transfers: In order to gain licence for an intra-company transferee, a company would need to show a direct link by means of co-ownership with the overseas entity from which it intends to bring the migrant to UK

Educational institutions: Education institutions which wishes to employ staff under Tier 2 need to prove that they have been inspected or audited by one of these bodies like Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK wide), OfSTED, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (Scotland), Estyn (Wales), Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland), Independent schools Inspectorate (ISI) in case of institutions falling outside this system will have to show that they have accreditation from an accredited body approved by Border and Immigration agency and also that they have passed an inspection by OfSTED (office of standards in Education)

Employment agencies: Under Tier 2, an employing agency can be a sponsor only when it is employing the migrant within its own organisation and not when it is merely supplying personnel to another employer

How to cope with the new law? – Employers and employees perspective

It is evident from the above mentioned facts that with the law on work permit getting tougher and narrowing its scope, applying for work permit of employees seems to be a nightmare for an employer.

In such circumstances only an expert professional’s advice can rescue all those prospective employers and employees whose hopes will be shattered by the introduction of these stringent set of rules. There are countless Immigration consultants across India but to encompass the recent and complex changes in law and to provide expert advice on them; one would need a reliable name to bank on.

The Immigration team at Morgan Walker Solicitors in London has an unmatched expertise in the area of Immigration and strives to provide tailored solutions on Immigration issues.

It recently hit headlines by winning a landmark case ‘HSMP Forum and Secretary of State for Home Department’. Morgan Walker which acted on behalf of the HSMP Forum argued that the changes to the rules for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme in form of Tier 1 should not be applied to the persons who had been already admitted to UK as a Highly Skilled Migrant. Consequently, the court decided in the favour of Morgan Walker and it was a major relief for all those people who came under HSMP and who have left their permanent jobs in home countries, sold their houses and have entered into financial commitments.

In view of the recent changes in Immigration law, the Morgan Walker team is geared up to give the most viable solutions to its clients. It will help out the prospective employers and employees to overcome the complications in the newly introduced law with its enormous experience. Hence all the employees and employers who had been moaning about recent changes in the law can consult Morgan Walker to discuss their problems. To get complete information about Morgan Walker Solicitors log on to their website With them, getting a work permit doesn’t seem to be a hard nut to crack!

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