Skilled Independent Migration has become increasingly popular with a number of countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Essentially, Skilled Independent Migration allows individuals with strong experience and/or education to migrate to another country with the right to work WITHOUT first needing to find an employer to sponsor a work permit. This gets round the problems faced by people seeing great jobs that they cannot apply for because the employer is unwilling to sponsor their work permit.
The purpose of allowing people to enter the country with the right to work already gained is to encourage the entry of people with exactly the skills that the country needs. These visas tend to be more flexible for the individual as they do not tie the person to only one company.
The HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) is a points based system. Applicants are awarded points for their education, experience and previous earnings and must be awarded a minimum of 65 points to qualify. Applicants who are under 28 will get points for this and find the criteria for other areas easier in terms of lower criteria for points being awarded. MBA students from certain universities around the world are also awarded HSMP purely based on their education. The HSMP Visa allows for an initial one year period, with a further three year extension to be applied for at the end of the first year. This scheme has proved very popular since its creation. You can use an online points calculator to get an idea as to whether you are likely to qualify, such as http://www.skillclear.co.uk/hsmp-highly-skilled-migrant-programme-points-calcultor.asp
The Federal Skilled Worker Visa is again a points based system, but rather more complex than the UK version, with additional points being available in a wider range of areas. These can include points for having a relative in Canada, for having a job offer, for French and English language skills and more. This Visa takes a considerable time to be approved presently, but many feel that the opportunities available in Canada make the wait more than worthwhile. Again, there are online points calculators available to find out if you qualify, such as http://www.skillclear.co.uk/canada/canada-skilled-worker-points-calculator-1.asp
Skilled Workers wishing to migrate to Australia face two main options – the full Skilled Worker Visa and the Skilled Independent Regional Visa. As its name suggests, the Regional Visa allows you to work in a specific region of Australia and is designed to encourage development of these areas specifically. The full Skilled Worker Visa allows you to work anywhere in Australia but requires you to gain a higher level of points. Again, these visas are more complex than the UK version.
New Zealand is working hard to encourage skilled migrants to move there and have lowered the pass mark from 195 points in 2004 to its current level of 100 points. As with Canada, having a close relative in New Zealand will gain you extra points and previous work experience gained in New Zealand can also gain you extra points.
For individuals with good education and/or experience, there is a strong initiative in these countries to try and encourage you to bring your skills and experience to their economies, representing increasing options available for individuals to experience different cultures and career opportunities.
SkillClear Immigration and Work Permit Services
Dean Marshall is a Director and co-founder of http://www.SkillClear.co.uk – Immigration and Work Permit Consultants for the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.