July 26, 2005

There will be four “tiers” within the points scheme within which people applying to work in the UK would be categorized.

Tier One: Highly Skilled

The most skilled professionals will automatically have enough points to come to the UK without a job offer and seek work or set up a business.

This group would include doctors, engineers, IT specialists and top-flight graduates in key sectors, such as business and finance. Workers in this category will have the most flexibility in the UK and greatest opportunities to settle for good.

Tier Two: Skilled

This covers people with qualifications or important work-related experience in a huge range of sectors from health service workers to white collar jobs and the trades. People in this category will be given points on their talents and will be allowed into the UK if they have a job offer in a “shortage area”.

Tier Three: Low Skilled

The government currently allows temporary migration to jobs in hospitality, food processing and agriculture from all over the world.

It will start to phase out these permissions in favor of workers from the expanded EU, although it adds that it may allow controlled quotas in certain sectors.

Workers in this category must find an employer as a sponsor. The employer will also have some responsibility for ensuring someone remains within the terms of their visa.

Tier Four: Specialists and Students

This final group covers those where there is “no significant issue of competition” but an economic benefit resulting from someone’s presence. This includes students paying for tuition in the UK, foreign government representatives and may include professional sports people and ministers of religion.