Article Business Practice Executive

A new system for migrant workers

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On Friday 29 February 2008, a new immigration system was launched to ensure that only those with the right skills or the right contribution will be able to come to the United Kingdom to work and study. The points-based system was designed to enable migration to be controlled more effectively, to tackle abuse and to identify the most talented workers.

Underpinning the new migration system is a five tier framework. The five tiers and the dates from which we will start accepting applications under them are:

Tier Applications open
Tier 1 (General): highly skilled workers, such as scientists and entrepreneurs From 29 February 2008
Tier 2: skilled workers with a job offer to fill gaps in United Kingdom labour force In the autumn of 2008
Tier 3: limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill temporary labour shortages This tier is currently suspended
Tier 4: students In the spring of 2009
Tier 5: temporary workers and youth mobility scheme: people allowed to work in the United Kingdom for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives In the autumn of 2008


Ground Engineers fall under tier 2 and will need a certain number of points to qualify.  People transferring within the company (Intra Company Transfer Route) should have enough points  ( full details have not yet been anounced)and if Ground Engineers remain on the Shortage Occupation List, qualification should also be automatic. The Ground Forum have already submitted an application to retain Ground Engineers on the list).

Most applicants coming to the United Kingdom, or wanting to remain in the UK to work or study, will need to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor to qualify for permission to enter or stay, as well as meeting the points-based assessment.

To become an employer and sponsor of migrant workers a licence must be applied for. Sponsors must agree to meet a number of sponsorship duties which include record keeping, recording and compliance with the Home office and tier System.

Once given a licence, employers will be added to the Register of Sponsors, and will be able to issue certificates of sponsorship when applications for the relevant tiers are accepted later in the year.

The licence will be valid for four years, starting from the day it is issued or the day that applications start for the relevant tier, whichever is the later.

Sponsors applying for a licence for Tier 2 (General) – skilled worker and/or Tier 2 – intra-company transfers can apply to go on the register of sponsors now.