The Home Office made a shock announcement today that the HSMP scheme was being suspended with (almost) immediate effect. The programme is being overhauled in the meantime, and will be resumed in its revised form on 5th December. The key scoring areas of work experience, significant achievements, skilled partners, and the special arrangements for GP priority applications will all be removed in the HSMP revision. The new scoring areas will include academic qualifications, previous earnings, age, and bonus points will also be available for previous work and / or study in the UK. A new minimum English Language requirement will also be introduced (IELTS level 6).

Any applications submitted and received by the payment processing department on or before 7th November 2007 will be considered against the old criteria.

Between 8th November – 4th December no applications will be considered under the old criteria or the new criteria. Those wishing to make applications in the near future are being advised to wait until after 5th December. Any applications received on 5th December will be given priority over any applications received during the suspension period.

UK Work Permits Ltd will be revising their HSMP points calculator as soon as possible to reflect the changes in the programme. Please check again soon if you want to establish your eligibility under the new scheme.