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Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people were granted entry into the UK in each of the last six years under the highly skilled migrant programme. [123776]

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) is administered by Work Permits UK at the Home Office and has only been in operation since 28 January 2002.Work Permits UK are responsible for approving applications under the HSMP and for issuing permits to successful applicants. All HSMP permit holders require a visa under the provisions of paragraph 135 A-H of the Immigration Rules. Possession of a HMSP permit is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued. The applicant must still be able to demonstrate that

(s)he qualifies for entry to the UK in accordance with the Immigration Rules.

Work Permits UK have approved 2,700 applications under the HSMP since January 2002. However, they cannot provide statistics on the number of those who were granted entry into the UK. UKvisas do not hold statistics on the number of visas issued to applicants who have been granted HSMP permits. These figures are subsumed within the general category of visas issued to work permit holders.