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Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 68520

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), Working Holiday-Makers, Overseas Domestic Workers

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) is designed to help the UK win the "war for talent". Under the HSMP an individual with exceptional skills and talents can come to the UK to take up employment or set up in business free from much of the regulation affecting other immigration categories. Weighted in favour of applicants under 28 years of age, the scheme was radically amended on 31 October 2003.

The Criteria

A points based system of qualification is used to assess applications. Points can be scored in five areas, and to make a successful application, the applicant will need to provide evidence that they score 65 points or more in the areas described below. They must also be able to demonstrate that they will be able to continue their chosen career in the UK, that they can support themselves and any family without recourse to public funds during their stay in the UK, and that they are willing and able to make the UK their main home.

Working holidaymakers

The Working Holidaymaker Scheme is an arrangement where a Commonwealth citizen aged between 17 and 30 can come to the UK for an extended holiday of up to two years. You can work but only if this is not the main reason for your stay. The holiday should be the main reason for your stay.

Overseas domestic workers

You must be able to show evidence for the following.

  • You are aged between 18 and 65.
  • You have been working as a domestic worker in the same house as your employer for at least one year immediately before your application, or you have been working in a household that your employer uses regularly for themselves for at least one year immediately before your application, and you can show that there is a connection between you and your employer.
  • You intend to travel to the UK with your employer, your employer’s husband or wife, or your employer’s child who is under 18.
  • You intend to work full-time as a domestic worker in the same house as your employer, or in a household that the employer uses regularly for himself or herself, and you can show that there is a connection between you and your employer.
  • You do not intend to work in the UK except as a domestic worker.
  • You can support yourself and live (as confirmed by your employer) without needing help from public funds.

You are a domestic worker if you are providing a personal service linked to the running of your employer's household. Examples include chauffeurs, gardeners, cooks and nannies.