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The Points-Based System

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Presentation on theme: "The Points-Based System"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Points-Based System
Sponsor Management Unit

2 Points Based System Overview
The Points Based System: The biggest change to the immigration system in over 30 years Consolidates 80+ existing immigration routes into a structured 5-Tier system Objective policy criteria (allowing self-assessment) A simplified one-stop migration process for those who wish to work or study in the UK Sponsorship Administrative Review The PBS will be the new system for managing applications for people who want to work, train and study in the UK. It will rationalize over 70 existing routes for workers, trainees and students into five tiers and will also put greater responsibility for migrants on those who directly benefit from them, such as employers and educational establishments. These organisations will have to be licensed by the UK Border Agency as Sponsors before individuals can apply for leave to work, train or study here. For this reason, anyone wishing to sponsor a migrant from outside the European Economic Area (Tiers 2-5 of the PBS) will need a license from the UK Border Agency.

3 Tiers 2 to 5 are underpinned by the new concept of ‘sponsorship’.
Tier Structure Tiers Tier 1 Highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and productivity Tier 2 Skilled workers with a job offer Tier 3 Low skilled workers to fill temporary labour shortages Tier 3 is suspended indefinitely Tier 4 Students Tier 5 Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers Tiers 2 to 5 are underpinned by the new concept of ‘sponsorship’.

4 Tier 1 Highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and productivity. do not need a job offer and will have unrestricted access to the labour market will not need a sponsor English language requirement There will be 4 subcategories: General Entrepreneurs Investors Post Study Work. Tier 1 (General) was launched in the UK on 29 February 2008, in India on the 1st April 2008 and globally with Sub Categories on 30th June. The Sponsor register is opening fully for Tiers 2,4 and 5 in July 2008. Tier 1 is designed to bring into the UK those migrants with the highest skills. They do not need a job offer and will have unrestricted access to the labour market. A migrant who enters under Tier 1 will not need a Sponsor. The Highly Skilled tier will embrace four sub-categories: Tier 1 (General) will replace the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), though will be fairly similar in many respects. However, under PBS, applicants from outside the UK will no longer need to apply to Sheffield for an HSMP approval letter before seeking entry clearance: there will be a single application process. Enterprise category- for migrants taking over or running a business here. Investor category for wealthy migrants wishing to invest a large sum (£1m plus) in the UK Post study category for graduates from UK universities. Initial applicants will be granted 3 years leave instead of 2. This should make it easier for them to find highly skilled work and to generate the evidence they will need to pass the extension test. Appeal rights will be abolished for those applying from outside the UK. 75 points or more are required and meet the English language requirement in order to qualify as a highly skilled migrant. Statement of Intent shows how points are allocated. Points are scored in four main areas: Qualifications Past Earnings Age UK Experience (Except for Investors), English Language requirement equivalent to Level C1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning, (equivalent to Grade C or above GCSE) or Come from a majority English speaking country, or have a degree taught in English (verified using NARIC). Refer to Highly Skilled Migrants SOI and its Annexes for further details on Extensions, Switching and Transitional Arrangements under this category. Roll-out begins on 29 February 2008 for applicants in the Highly Skilled General sub-category (the one based on HSMP) in the UK only. We will introduce the Highly Skilled General sub-category in India on 1 April Refer to Tier 1 Rules: Final Q & A for 6 Feb.doc for further detail if necessary. Global roll-out of the Highly Skilled Tier will be extended to all sub-categories both in and out of country by the end of the Summer 2008.

5 There are certain key principles that will apply to all migrants under Tier 2 general
The Job The Migrant All migrants must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer Must be at National Vocational Qualification level 3 – equivalent to A levels, A – C grade. The rate for the job must be not be less than the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job to prevent undercutting of the resident labour market. All tier 2 general applicants must show competence in English to assist with community integration. Basic user level will be required for T2 General and Sports people. An intermediate level will be required for Ministers of Religion. ICTs will not be required to show this until applying for an extension. Initial leave to enter will be a maximum of 3 years (actual length will depend on the contract) and migrants will then be able to apply for extension for up to a total of 5 years.

6 Tier 2 – Skilled workers Statement of Intent published on 6 May 2008
At least 70 points are required from this table (including 10 for maintenance and 10 for English) All jobs must be NVQ3 job at or above the appropriate rate Section Certificate of Sponsorship Prospective Earnings (£ Qualifications (or NARIC equivalents) A (50 points needed) Offer of job in shortage occupation Offer of job that passes Resident Labour Market Test Intra Company Transfer 50 30 17,000 – 19,999 20,000 – 21,999 22,000 – 23,999 24,000+ 5 10 15 20 No qualifications NVQ3 Bachelors or Masters PhD B Maintenance requirement (10 points needed) C Competence in English (10 points needed) Main losers will be chefs and care-workers though scope to come in if a) salaries rise or b) MAC declares a shortage. Tier 3 however remains suspended while A2 restrictions in place and labour can be found from expanded EU.

7 Transitional Arrangements
Transitional arrangements will be put in place to minimise the impact on existing work permit holders. Where a migrant’s work permit leave expires after Tier 2 comes into force: the applicant must in possession of a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by a licensed employer; and The Certificate of Sponsorship must confirm that the job is at or above NVQ 3 level and will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job. They will not have to meet the Tier 2 specific criteria relating to qualifications, prospective earnings and language requirements.

8 There are no current plans to introduce this Tier
Limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill specific temporary labour shortages (if required). There are no current plans to introduce this Tier There are no plans to commence this Tier.

9 Tier 4 Students There are 2 types of student categories:
General: (for the majority of students) – 15 hours a week organised day-time study except where studying at degree level at a publicly funded Higher Education Institution School: for those below 16 years old (no work permitted) Sponsors of migrants under Tier 4 will need to show that they: hold valid accreditation from an accreditation body approved by the UK Border Agency; or have passed an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Due for roll out Spring 2009. The migrant must have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (this is what we call a Certificate of Sponsorship in this Tier) from a sponsor, i.e. a Registered Educational institution Leave tied to sponsoring institution Fresh application to change education institution, or extend leave. Sponsors of migrants under Tier 4, will need to show: that they are subject to the system of reviews undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK-wide), OfSTED (England), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education (Scotland), Estyn (Wales), the Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland) or the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Publicly funded institutions, and private schools providing education for children up to the age of 18, will need to provide evidence that they have been inspected or audited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK-wide), OfSTED (England), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education (Scotland), Estyn (Wales), the Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland) or the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Institutions outside this system of reviews such as private institutions will need to be accredited. They will need to show that they hold valid accreditation from an accreditation body approved by the Border and Immigration Agency (these are listed at Appendix A in the SOI on Sponsorship); or that they have passed an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). In addition a concession has been agreed for overseas HEIs that provide only part of their degree level programmes in the UK. Such organisations (mainly American Universities) will also be permitted onto the SR with evidence that they meet these criteria. Any overseas HEI with students enrolled full-time in the UK will need accreditation. This accreditation also enables Tier 4 sponsors to apply to go on the register to sponsor migrants under Tier 2 (Mainstream and Intra-Company Transfer sub tiers only) and, subject to fulfilling the other criteria for this category, Tier 5 (Exchange). Institutions outside this system of reviews will need to show that they hold valid accreditation from an accreditation body approved by the UK Border Agency (these are listed at Appendix A in the SOI on Sponsorship); or Entry Clearance Officers (ECoS) will be able to trust institutions’ decisions to issue a certificate of sponsorship to a potential student: reducing the involvement of immigration officials in the recruitment of overseas students. Reduces need for intelligence-led investigations of suspect institutions: enabling compliance resources to bet proactively targeted on high risk institutions and employers. Frees resources to promote best practice in recruitment so as to reduce the frequency with which genuine institutions are misled by bogus students seeking a means to enter the UK. Combats bogus colleges that harm the otherwise excellent reputation of UK Education: will help attract more international students to the UK.

10 Tier 5 – Temporary Workers and Youth Mobility Scheme Statement of Intent also published on 6 May 2008 Tier 5 is for people coming to the UK to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives and comprises: Normal prohibitions on access to benefits/social housing. No switching into other tiers. Tier 5: Temporary Workers comprises the following sub-categories: Creative & Sporting, Religious, Government Authorised Exchange and International Agreements. The Tier 5: Youth Mobility Scheme is for sponsored young people from participating countries who will come and experience living and working in the UK for up to 24 months, while young UK nationals enjoy similar opportunities in participating countries.

11 Tier 5: Temporary Workers
Points can be earned against two sets of objective criteria: Entry clearance is mandatory across Tier 5: Temporary Workers, except for non-visa nationals coming to the UK for up to three months in the Creative & Sporting sub-category. Tier 5: Temporary Workers will be allowed to take supplementary work for up to 20 hours per week, with some restrictions. Restrictions on supplementary work include: no longer than 20 hours, outside of normal working hours, in same sector and same level as work for which CoS issued.

12 Principles of Sponsorship
Sponsorship is a key element of the Points Based System Any organisation that wishes to employ migrants or enrol them on a course of study must have a Sponsor Licence Those who benefit most directly play their part in ensuring the system is not abused Those applying to come to the UK to do a job or study are eligible to do so Attract only reputable employers and Educational establishments to take migrants on As my colleague Neil has pointed out, Sponsorship is a key element of the Points Based System. When migrants are able to apply for Tiers 2, 4 and 5 then any organisation that wishes to offer migrants employment or a course of study must have registered for a Sponsor Licence. Therefore if you are not registered you will be unable to employ or offer courses of study to migrants. This will have a huge impact of those of you whose business is reliant on migrants. If you employ migrants without being licensed then you face a £10,000 on the spot fine for every migrant you employ and you will also face criminal proceedings. We are introducing Tiers 2 and 5 in November These tiers will replace the work permit and Minister of Religion categories, amongst others, of the Immigration Rules.

13 What it means to be licensed
Licenses are valid for four years and sponsors will remain on the register for this period of time (unless removed or withdrawn) Once licensed, the sponsor is eligible to apply for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) or Certificates of Acceptance to Study (CAS) Sponsors can apply for a CoS for Tier 2 and Tier 5 from November Tier 4 is currently scheduled for implementation in Spring 2009 when a CAS may be issued Should the Sponsor use their allocation of certificates, they can discuss with their Account Manager and arrange further certificates if required. Organisations are asked to Register by providing their name and address The UK Border Agency will the organisation their User ID and password details (password can be changed) The organisation will use the User ID and password to log-in. Full guidance accompanies the e-application. Each question has its own guidance

14 Costs To join the register of sponsors, a fee must be paid appropriate to the size of the organisation There are 2 different fees for Tier 2 (General) £300 if you are a small sponsor (on or after 6 April 2008) Turnover of not more than £5.6 million Balance sheet not more than £2.8 million Number of employees not more than 50 £1000 for all other sponsors

15 Key Personnel During the application process you will have to provide details of the following key personnel: Authorising Officer (AO) - The Sponsor will be held fully responsible for the actions of its AO, and so should ensure that it appoints a senior and competent officer from within the organisation to this position. Key Contact - The key contact is the person who will act as the main point of contact between the Agency and the sponsoring organisation. Level 1 User - will undertake the day-to-day operation of the Sponsor’s activities through the Sponsor Management System.

16 Application and Consideration Process
On-line application only, no paper version Applications must be made by the organisation themselves (not by a 3rd party) Applications will be considered by the Sponsor Licensing Unit Pre-licensing visits maybe arranged with the potential Sponsor. Further guidance about how potential sponsors will be assessed is available at: To get a licence, you must meet the following criteria: you are a legitimate organisation working within the law in the UK; there are no reasons to believe that you are a threat to immigration control; and your organisation is committed to fulfilling its sponsorship duties. When considering a licence application, 3 main questions will be asked: is the applicant a bona fide organisation operating lawfully in the UK is the applicant trustworthy Is the applicant capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor

17 Approved applications and ratings
If application approved, Sponsor rated A or B Suitability criteria for A or B will be assessed against a 1-3 marking: We will work with B-rated Sponsors to help them bring their systems into line Once granted a licence you will be given access to the Sponsor Management System when it is opened for your relevant Tier/s 1. Meeting all of the criteria 2. Only meeting some of the criteria 3. Not meeting any of the criteria

18 Refused Applications Applications may be refused if the Sponsor does not comply with the rules governing Sponsorship: These include: The Submission of false documents A conviction of a serious offence within a specified number of days Been convicted of a serious within specified number of days The online Sponsor Application and the website details the obligations and your Account Manager can also advise you There is no right of appeal against refusal of an application for a licence but Potential Sponsors can reapply at any time, using their Account Manager and the reasons for refusal to assist with further applications.

19 Responsibilities of an Organisation
As a sponsor, you must fulfil certain duties to make sure immigration controls stay effective. The sponsorship duties are: record keeping; reporting; compliance; co-operating with us; tier specific duties. If you fail to comply with any of you sponsorship duties, you may be down-graded to a B rating or have your licence withdrawn.

20 Certificates of Sponsorship
A CoS/CAS is a virtual document, it consists of a unique reference number (URN) Sponsor issues the certificate to a migrant it wishes to sponsor to enable them to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain A certificate does not guarantee that prior entry clearance will be granted to a migrant

21 More about Certificates of Sponsorship….
The information needed to complete a CoS or CAS varies from Tier to Tier A Certificate of Sponsorship is not a piece of paper — it is just a unique reference number which is passed from Sponsor to Migrant and checked by UKBA Certificates of Sponsorship can be produced in groups or batches

22 Application process First, find your migrant worker or student……. Check out their ability to do the job or to complete the course of study — the ECO will no longer check this Will they meet the points criteria? Use the self assessment tool to help you to check?

23 Points-Based Calculator
At the moment this tool can only be used to assess a migrant’s potential point’s score for Tier 1 (General). As the remaining sub categories of Tier 1 and the other Tiers are rolled out the tool will allow migrants to self assess themselves to see if they qualify to enter/remain in the UK in their chosen Tier. The tool will ask specific questions, to ensure the migrant is asked to provide the appropriate information based on their circumstances, such as is the migrant applying from within the UK; or is the migrant applying from outside the UK. Once this is determined the migrant will be asked questions specific to their circumstances and the Tier they have chosen to assess against. Our original requirement for the tool was to provide the migrants with an option to say they did not know which Tier they were applying for and the tool then to advise which Tier they scored sufficient points. However, this has not been possible to develop.

24 Points-Based Calculator
Once the migrant has completed the questions, the system will calculate their potential points score based on the information they have provided. However, this score calculation is only a guide. We will need to assess the application and verify the supporting documents.

25 Issuing Certificates of Sponsorship
If you are now ready to sponsor the worker or student… Log onto the Sponsor Management System Complete and pay for the certificate When completed and paid for, you will be given a unique reference number to pass to the person you wish to sponsor For employers, the above procedure replaces the work permit process

26 Overview of the Migrant Application Process – Within the UK
If self-assessment successful, they should then apply to UKBA for leave to remain submitting: application form; fee; passport; passport photos; Police Registration Certificate (if applicable) and other supporting documents as required. UKBA verifies the supporting documents and CoS UKBA notify the applicant of the decision We are working on providing this service via the PEO network but we don’t yet have an implementation date for that Points Calculator - to assess whether they satisfy the points criteria. If migrant wishes to apply for leave to remain in the UK they must download and print the form Completion/Submission – Form comes with comprehensive guidance which should be used to ensure the form is correctly completed and the appropriate documents accompany the form. The address to send the form, fee & supporting documents is on the front of the paper application. Valid Application - The correct form must be completed; the correct fee paid; and the current unexpired passport(s) and if the migrant is required to register with the Police then they must also submit their Police Registration Certificate Further enquiries - UKBA will not as a general rule, approach the migrant/representative for further supporting documents. However, there are some exceptions to this: - Under the transitional arrangements regarding application forms we are directed to accept FLR(HSMP) forms for a period of 21 days after go live, as suitable forms for the submission of a Tier 1 application. - Forms do not direct the applicant to provide information regarding maintenance, or specify that dependants are required to complete a separate application, caseworkers will therefore write out - Not all sections mandatory but information is required to fully consider the application (e.g. applicants are not required to complete the section of the form regarding Public Funds, Personal Details, including name, address etc). Period of leave - The vignette/entry clearance certificate will clearly state permit type or category i.e. Tier 1 (General) and the length and conditions of that leave i.e. no recourse to public funds. This will help the migrant and interested parties understand what they can and cannot do.

27 Overview of the Migrant Application Process – Overseas
When the applicant has a CoS/CAS, they should then self assess on the UKBA website The application, supporting documents and fee are taken in person to our Commercial Partner in the country where the applicant is normally resident The applicant will have their biometrics captured at this point The ECO will ensure the application is valid and all supporting documents are verified. Under the single stage decision making process, the decision will now be taken entirely by the ECO overseas As of 1st April 2008 we have launched PBS in India. India has been our biggest market in terms of HSMP applications and we expect this to continue under Tier 1 (General). We therefore wanted to dedicate attention and resources at getting it right. British Posts in India have also been involved in the testing. The CP will ensure the application is valid and ensure that the migrant has provided the documentation to support the points claimed. The migrant must also submit the application by hand to the CP in order to provide their biometric details. Vignette/Entry Clearance – The wording or remarks on the vignette are consistent with those used in the UK.

28 Administrative Review
Only applies to refusals of PBS applications taken overseas If a PBS application is refused overseas, there are no statutory rights of appeal Instead, it will be open to the migrant to ask for an Administrative Review An Administrative Review is a review of the original decision by an Entry Clearance Manager not involved in a management (or other) relationship with the ECO who made the initial decision Applicants submit their request for an Administrative Review on a form available from the UKBA website at no charge but no new information can be submitted with the Administrative Review All refusals taken overseas under the Points Based System will no longer attract a right of appeal. It will be open to migrants to seek an Administrative Review of the decision. There is no fee for this process. The application will be re-considered by a more senior member of staff, the Entry Clearance Manager i.e. An official who was not involved in the original decision. Where the decision is taken in a small Post with a single Entry Clearance Manager, then the Administrative Review will be sent to a larger Post with multiple ECM’s. At the Administrative Review stage, the Reviewer will only consider information that was submitted when the original decision was made. If the migrant wants to rely on new evidence then it is open to them to submit a fresh application.

29 Preventing Illegal Working (1)
Under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 employers may be liable to pay a civil penalty of up to £10, 000 per illegal worker if they employ someone who is: subject to immigration control; aged over 16; and not entitled to undertake the work in question. Under the new law, employers can establish an excuse against liability to pay a civil penalty for employing an illegal migrant if they check and copy certain original documents before someone starts working for them. If the person has a time limit on their stay in the UK, the employer will also have to carry out repeat checks on their documents at least once a year to have the excuse. However, if the employer knows that they are employing a person who is not permitted to work, then they will not have an excuse and they could be prosecuted under section 21 for knowingly employing an illegal worker, regardless of whether they have carried out any document checks. Sections 15 and 21 only apply to individuals employed on, or after 29 February 2008. Under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 it is a criminal offence to employ a person, aged 16 or over, who is subject to immigration control and who is not entitled to work in the UK or to undertake the employment in question. In the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2004, we strengthened this legislation by tightening the list of documents that employers are advised to check to avoid employing an illegal worker, eliminating documents which had proved vulnerable to forgery and requiring specific combinations of document to be seen. Section 6 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimant, etc.) Act 2004 made the summary offence triable either way, which means that there is now no upper limit to the level of fine that can be imposed on employers if convicted on indictment.

30 Preventing Illegal Working (2)
Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working is available at: The Verification Service is offered through the Employers Helpline ( ). The Employers Helpline is available between 9am – 5pm (Monday to Friday). Details of immigration rules are on the Employers Toolkit ( Hand out Booklet on Preventing Illegal Working with accompanying A2 Addendum and EHL Addendum. BIA takes the issue of migrants working here when they have no permission to do so very seriously. Civil penalties will be introduced for those employers who employ illegal migrant workers as a result of less than diligent or negligent recruitment and employment practices. Employers will be able to establish an excuse from liability for a civil penalty by carrying out specified document checks at the point of recruitment. The 2006 Act also provides for subsequent document checks, to be made by employers at specified intervals or on specified occasions, for those employees who have limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. Compliance officers will be fully trained in identifying and investigating matters that could lead to action under this legislation. Where they find evidence of a sponsor employing a migrant worker without the correct documentation, they may impose a civil penalty or refer the employer for prosecution. This would be in addition to any decision to remove the employer from the PBS sponsorship register, or downgrade it to a B-rating.

31 Useful Links UK Border Agency
Points Based System Guidance documents for employers and sponsors on the Points Based System General Queries about the Points Based System Sponsorship and Employer Helpline General Queries about Work Permits Contact Centre Sheffield

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