UK Immigration System

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BACKGROUND TO RESEACH The United Kingdom Points Based System (PBS) was introduced by the Labour government in February 2008 to replace the complex visa system. The new points based system is governed by Immigration rules. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) introduced this new immigration control system to manage applications from people who wish to come to the UK to study, work and do business. Points System are designed to ‘maximise surplus’ that is, the part of the additional output and income generated by immigration.[1] Points Based System is classified into five different tiers namely:- Tier 1: Highly Skilled migrants, Entrepreneurs, Investors

  • General (now closed)
  • Entrepreneurs - For those who want to set up or take over an existing business, and be actively involved in running a business in the UK.
  • Investors - For those who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. Like the entrepreneurs, it offers three years grant of leave.[2]
  • Post study work (now closed)
  • Exceptional Talent - For those who have exceptional talents in the arts or sciences.
  • Graduate Entrepreneurs - For graduates who have been identified by a UK university holding a world class entrepreneurial skills to apply to stay in the UK after graduation.

Tier 2 – Skilled Workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

  • General - for people coming to the United Kingdom with a job offer to fill a vacant position that cannot be filled by people in the UK.
  • Intra Company Transfers - For Employees of multinational firms who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a UK-based branch of the organisation
  • Ministers of Religion - For Preaching and Pastoral work, missionaries or members of religious orders
  • Sportsperson - For internationally established sportsperson and coaches at highest level.

However, to qualify under this tier, you need a sponsorship from an organisation that has a valid certificate of sponsor registered with the UK Border Agency. Tier 3 – Unskilled Temporary Migration

  • Unskilled (never open)

Tier 4 – International Students

  • Students (General) for post-16 education
  • Students (Child) for children aged between 4 and 16 attending independent schools. New restrictions were implemented on the 6th of April, 2012. All students’ visas are classed under tier 4 and to qualify, applicant must have a valid confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a university or a recognised education institution.

Tier 5 – Temporary Workers, Working Holiday Makers

  • Youth mobility - For Working holiday makers (restricted to a few countries)
  • Temporary Workers For creative and sporting, Charity worker, religious, Government Authorised exchange and international agreement.

Applicants must be able to prove that they have enough funds to support themselves of which not less than A£1600. They must provide documentary evidence to support this, dated no earlier than one month before applying for entry clearance. Under the Points Based System (PBS) an applicant has to show that they are entitled to the requisite number of points for Attributes, English Skills and funds. There are different numbers of points required under these three criteria and they can be found in Part 6A of the Immigration rules. [3] Over the years, the rules have been edited and disjointed and the necessary information is spread large and wide across the Immigration rules. The process of applying the rules to any given case is complicated by the many and varied transitional provisions which apply. Due to the very many amendments that has been made to the PBS over the years, different rules apply to applications made within the same categories depending upon the date the application was made or the date the applicant was last granted leave. Under the new system, anyone wanting to come to or remain in the UK will need to show that they meet immigration requirements and that they have enough points to qualify. Points are earned in different ways, such as qualifications and earnings, and in the majority of cases, migrants will need a sponsor who has Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies if applying as a tier 4 (CAS). PUBLIC RECEPTION OF MIGRANTS One of the reasons for the move to a new immigration system was the perceived need to restore public trust on immigration laws and controls. During its introduction; the system was criticised by the then government opposition, The Conservative Party. This is due to the lapses found in the area where there are lacks on the overall cap to the numbers of people who can qualify under the point’s based system[4]. There are concerns where the new system fails to provide for the low-skilled migrants from outside of the EEA, this might cause shortages in construction industry. Moreover, business, schools and universities that use Points Based System are faced with increase of regulatory burden. Both Business (Tier 2) and educational establishments (Tier 4 student visas) have to comply with UK Border Authority (UKBA) regulations in order to gain sponsorship accreditation. This involves setting up of an immigrant monitoring system with regular reporting to UKBA on workers and students. This dissertation will attempt to determine the reasons behind the change of formal immigration rules to the Points-Based System by asking the question: Why was the Points Based System introduced and adopted in the UK? Through analysis of these new rules and its accompanying literature, as well as impact of the change on the economy, this dissertation will establish that the introduction of the PBS is a means to assert control over and manage Non –European immigration influx into the United Kingdom and also to know the effect this has on the economy. This dissertation will also include an overview of the UK immigration policies; looking at theories behind the different policies and why the constant change in the policies. In so doing, the reasons behind these policies will help to shed more light on the introduction of the PBS. It will also show the many factors that have helped to create previous policies, such as migrant origin, labour and demographic needs and security, which has also play an important role with the PBS. Following this, there will be an analysis of the PBS policy and the impact it has on the economy of United Kingdom. This analysis will elucidate on how the PBS works, who it affects and how. To enhance and provide a more complete overview to the analysis of the change, and thus, go beyond the explicit wording of the policy, media coverage including speeches and newspaper articles on the PBS will be analysed. These analyses will reveal public perceptions of both immigration in general and the change in policy. By a comparison between government and public opinion will prove that politicians and policymakers react to public demands in formulating immigration policy especially the Points Based System. REFERENCES Craig, P. and De BAºrca, G. (2003) EU law: text, cases and materials. 3rd edition, OUP Halibronner, K. (2010) EU immigration and asylum laws: commentary on EU regulations and directives. Hart HJT Immigration Manual Jackson, D C. and Berry, A. (2008) Immigration law and practice.4th edition. Tottel Ruhs, M. (2008) Economic research and labour policy accessed on 12/12/2014 accessed today 13/12/2014 (Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2012) 1

[1] Ruhs, M. (2008) Economic research and labour policy [2] Investors". UK Border Agency [3] [4] Patrick Wintour (06-12-2007). "Smith seeks to restore trust in immigration system". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16-03-2008

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UK immigration system. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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