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Immigration: New Work Visa Rules To Help Resident Workers

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The Government has announced a raft of new measures to give resident workers a better opportunity to fill vacancies before they are offered to workers abroad.

Last month, the to tighten up the rules controlling when skilled workers are allowed to take jobs in the UK under the immigration points based system.

The Government has decided to accept the recommendations, which will now be implemented to ensure the immigration system does more to support UK workers while continuing to facilitate the trade, travel, and study that benefits the UK.

From next year, all jobs must be advertised to British workers in Jobcentre Plus for four weeks, extended from two weeks, before companies can seek to employ individuals from outside Europe.

The Government will also extend the qualifying period for overseas workers who want to transfer to work at the UK base of their company.  This will mean they must work for their firm for at least a year rather than just six months prior to the move.

The minimum salary that will allow an individual to qualify as a skilled worker and be eligible to work in the UK will also rise from £17,000 to £20,000.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"The introduction of the points based system has radically improved our ability to respond quickly to changing economic circumstances.

"We have accepted all of the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendations and we will continue to work with them to make sure that we use the flexibility in the points based system to the best advantage of society and the economy.

"These changes will ensure that businesses can recruit the skilled foreign workers that the economy needs, but not at the expense of British workers, nor as a cheaper alternative to investing in the skills of the existing workforce."

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