Policy paper

A points-based system: making migration work for Britain

This publication was published under the 2005 to 2010 Labour government

This document contains the following information: A points-based system: making migration work for Britain.



This document sets out the Governments proposals for a new points-based approach to managing the flow of migrants coming to the UK to work or study. Whilst it is generally agreed that migration makes a substantial contribution to economic growth, fills gaps in the labour market, and increases investment, innovation and entrepreneurship, and enriches cultural diversity, it needs to be managed. The Government proposes a five-tier framework, to help people understand how the system works and to direct applicants to the category that is most appropriate for them. The tiers are: (1) highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and productivity; (2) skilled workers with a job offer to fill gaps in the UK labour force; (3) limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill specific temporary labour shortages; (4) students; (5) youth mobility and temporary workers, people allowed to work in the UK for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives. For each tier applicants will need sufficient points to obtain entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK. Points will be awarded according to objective and transparent criteria, giving a structured decision-making process. Applicants in tiers 2 to 5 will need a certificate of sponsorship. The Government aims for a system that better identifies and attracts migrants who have most to offer the UK; is more efficient, transparent and objective; and that improves compliance and reduces the scope for abuse.

This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.