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07 October 2009

The rules controlling when skilled workers are allowed to take jobs in the UK under the points-based system are to be tightened up. The Government has accepted recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee to make it harder for skilled overseas workers to take up jobs in the UK. It is intended that these measures will ensure that resident workers have the opportunity to fill vacancies and have longer to apply for jobs before they are offered to overseas workers.

This means that from 2010, all jobs must be advertised in Jobcentre Plus for 4 weeks, extended from 2 weeks, before companies can employ individuals from outside Europe.

There are also changes to intra-company transfers. The qualifying period for an overseas worker who wishes to transfer to work at their company's UK base is to be extended from 6 months to one year. This means that overseas workers will need to have worked for their company for at least one year before they can transfer to the UK.

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.

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