Detailed Guide to Points System

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The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) has undergone three major changes since being introduced on 28 January 2002. The first change on 28 January 2003 meant that far more people could come under HSMP. The latest changes of 7 November 2006 has left the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme as one of the most accessible skilled immigration programmes of any "Western Country" in the World. You will find further details of the changes in our introduction page. A Summary of UK HSMP Changes, as of 17 November, 2006 has been placed here.

Points are awarded on the basis of a number of factors:

  1. Age Assessment
  2. Qualifications
  3. Earning Power
  4. UK Experience
  5. English Language Ability
  6. Other Requirements
  7. Your Points Score

1. Age Assessment - 20 points (maximum)

The British Government feels that it is preferable to give points in a "young person assessment". Younger people, because of their age, will remain in the workforce for longer. Also, younger people will not be able to gain as many points compared to older people under the past earning category.

27 years of age or under 20 points
28 or 29 years of age

10 points

30 or 31 years of age years of age 5 points
32 years of age or over

0 points

2. Qualifications - You will gain points for one of the following

(Maximum 50 points):

PhD 50 points
Masters Degree (eg MA, MSc or MBA) 35 points
A Bachelors Degree (eg BA, BSc) 30 points
Vocational and Professional Qualifications - Based on Equivalency to above UK Qualifications

You will gain points based on degree level qualication, or professional level qualifications. Unfortunately, there are no extra points for a 4 year Bachelors degree rather than a three year degree, or for having more than one degree at any given level (eg BSc and Beng, or MSc and MBA). If you wish to score points based on professional qualifications you will need to show the equivalency of this to the relevant British Qualification. This will need to be validated with the National Academic Recognition Information Centre Database.

If you have attended one of 50 eligible MBA programmes and graduated since 2 December 2004, you may be eligible under the MBA provision of the HSMP.

3. Earning power - Your points score will depend on the points allocated for a particular salary level in a particular geographical area of the World

(Maximum 45 points).

There is a general expectation that highly skilled people usually earn more than average. However, earnings are related to local income levels as well as an individual's skills, so the income level required to achieve a given number of points is linked to the country where you live. Please note that what matters is where you are living, not your nationality - an Indian national on an H1B should have the same earning power as a US national of similar ability, and should not be judged by the earning power of an Indian national still in India. You will find the number of points for each salary level for your part of the World below:

Country Code A Including Germany, France, Singapore, USA, Canada, Australia, Bermuda, Ireland, Japan, South Korea

  • 16,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • 18,000 per annum = 10 Points
  • 20,000 per annum = 15 Points
  • 23,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • 26,000 per annum = 25 Points
  • 29,000 per annum = 30 Points
  • 32,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • 35,000 per annum = 40 Points
  • 40,000 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code B Including Poland, Bahamas, Chile, Libya, Hungary, South Korea, Mexico, Estonia, Latvia

  • 7,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • 8,000 per annum = 10 Points
  • 9,000 per annum = 15 Points
  • 10,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • 11,500 per annum = 25 Points
  • 12,500 per annum = 30 Points
  • 14,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • 15,313 per annum = 40 Points
  • 17,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code C Including Jamaica, Russia, Iran, Peoples Republic of China, Peru, Tunisia, Thailand, Algeria, Romania

  • 5,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • 5,600 per annum = 10 Points
  • 6,300 per annum = 15 Points
  • 7,200 per annum = 20 Points
  • 8,100 per annum = 25 Points
  • 9,100 per annum = 30 Points
  • 10,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • 11,000 per annum = 40 Points
  • 12,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code D Including Congo, India, Pakistan, Moldova, Cuba, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bangladesh

  • 3,000 per annum = 5 Points
  • 3,400 per annum = 10 Points
  • 3,800 per annum = 15 Points
  • 4,300 per annum = 20 Points
  • 4,900 per annum = 25 Points
  • 5,500 per annum = 30 Points
  • 6,000 per annum = 35 Points
  • 6,600 per annum = 40 Points
  • 7,500 per annum = 45 Points
Country Code E Including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone

  • 1,400 per annum = 5 Points
  • 1,600 per annum = 10 Points
  • 1,800 per annum = 15 Points
  • 2,000 per annum = 20 Points
  • 2,300 per annum = 25 Points
  • 2,550 per annum = 30 Points
  • 2,800 per annum = 35 Points
  • 3,100 per annum = 40 Points
  • 3,500 per annum = 45 Points

4. UK Experience - 5 Points (Maximum)

You can gain five points under the following circumstances:

You gain points under the past earnings category and your earnings were in the UK.


You have studied and graduated at Bachelors degree or higher in full time education in the UK or at a UK based overseas educational institution for at least one academic year.

5. English Language Ability

You need to have a bachelors degree that was taught in English (not a Masters degree or PhD).


You need to possess an International English Language Testing System qualification at least at Band 6 less than two years old.

6. Other Requirements - As well as gaining enough points under this category you will need to meet the following requirements.

7. Your Points Score - You can estimate your points by adding together your points score for section 1 to 5 above. You need a minimum of 75 points to qualify

Qualifying Criteria Maximum Points Your Score
Young Person Assessment 20
Qualifications 50
UK Qualification or UK Work Experience 5
Earning Power 45
Total 120

If you do not qualify under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, there are other options available to you:

You may also wish to check the other requirements section to see whether you meet all the requirements for this programme.

If you think you may qualify, please go to our form and we will reply with a quote.

If you do not qualify under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, there are other options available to you:

  1. Work Permit programme - if you have a job offer from a UK company which wants to employ you in a role for which it can not find an EU national, you may be able to get an employer sponsored work permit.
  2. Innovator programme - if you have an original business idea, especially one in the technology sector, you may be able to come to the UK to set up in business.

Otherwise, you will find details of other immigration categories at the main page.