Work permits and accession worker cards
Points assessment for highly skilled people
This page explains how you can apply to come to the United Kingdom as a highly skilled person if you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania. You will need to meet the points assessment we used for our Highly Skilled Migrant Programme and apply using application form BR2, which you can download from the Applying page.
On this page
The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is now available only to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania. If you are highly skilled and are not a national of Bulgaria or Romania, you should see Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system for information on how you can apply to come to the United Kingdom to work.
To pass the points-based assessment, you need to score at least 75 points across the following categories:
- the Master in Business Administration (MBA) provision;
- previous earnings;
- United Kingdom experience; and
Details of the points available within each category are set out below. For details of the documents you must send us to support your application, see Supporting documents for highly skilled applicants.
You can find the guidance our staff use when deciding applications in Policy and law.
The MBA provision
If you meet the evidence requirements in this category you will be awarded 75 points.
To meet the requirements, you must have graduated from an MBA or executive MBA (EMBA) course at an eligible institution. You are not eligible to apply under this provision until you have completed your course and graduated.
There are currently 50 eligible institutions. In order to qualify under this provision, the institution you attend must have been included on the list of eligible institutions at the time you graduated. This provision was introduced on 2 December 2004. If you graduated before this date you cannot apply under this provision.
Our current list of eligible institutions is in Annex A of the MBA provision document (PDF 19K opens in a new window).
You can be awarded a maximum of 50 points under this category. If you hold more than one qualification listed in this section you may only be awarded points for the highest-level qualification for which you have provided sufficient evidence.
Qualifications have to meet the standard of United Kingdom bachelor's, master's or PhD (as verified by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) database. Vocational and professional qualifications can be included if you provide evidence to show that the qualification is equivalent to the relevant United Kingdom academic level. UK NARIC has a framework of bands for recognising qualifications from overseas. We use this to compare the overseas qualification to a specific level of achievement in the United Kingdom. Qualifications assessed by UK NARIC as below United Kingdom bachelor degree level will not meet the minimum requirement for HSMP.
See the UK NARIC website for more information on comparing your qualifications with academic levels in the United Kingdom.
The points awarded in this category are:
- PhD - 50 points
- Master's - 35 points
- Bachelor's - 30 points
Vocational and professional qualifications can be included if you provide evidence from the appropriate United Kingdom professional body to show that the qualification is equivalent to the relevant United Kingdom academic level. Professional bodies must be recognised by the equivalent United Kingdom regulatory authority.
You can be awarded a maximum of 45 points under this category.
Where the evidence requirements are met, points may be awarded for your earnings before tax over a period of up to 12 consecutive months in the last 15 months. The number of points you are awarded will depend on your earnings and the country in which you were living and working. If you have lived and worked in more than one country during the 12-month period we will calculate what your earnings in the country where you have spent most time would have been if you had worked there for the total period in which you have been working.
For more information, see Previous earnings (PDF 118K opens in new window).
If you have been unable to earn income for the last 12 to 15 months because you were undertaking full-time study we may consider your income for a 12-month period in the 15 months immediately before you became a full-time student.
United Kingdom experience
You can be awarded a maximum of five points under this category. You can claim these points if you have:
- scored points under the previous earnings category and these earnings were in the United Kingdom; or
- gained a degree-level qualification or higher in the United Kingdom in the last five years; or
- gained a degree-level qualification or higher and spent at least one full academic year at a United Kingdom based overseas educational institution in the last five years and you have provided the appropriate evidence to support this claim.
You can claim a maximum of five points in this category for either studying or previous employment in the United Kingdom but not for both.
The age assessment
You can be awarded a maximum of 20 points in this category. You may be awarded points based on your age at the time of your application.
Where the evidence requirements are met, the points awarded in this category are:
- Aged 27 or under - 20 points
- Aged 28 or 29 - 10 points
- Aged 30 or 31 - 5 points
- Aged 32 and over - 0 points.
Frequently Asked Questions
My primary medical qualification meets one of the General Medical Council (GMC) requirements for the purposes of gaining registration. Does it therefore meet the qualification requirements of the HSMP?
No. To gain sufficient points to meet the HSMP qualification requirement, you must provide evidence that you have a qualification that is at least equivalent to United Kingdom bachelor degree level. We set this requirement. and it is not intended to mirror or to contradict the GMC's assessment of your ability to register to practice your profession.
One of the GMC requirements for registration is that an applicant has an acceptable primary medical qualification which would normally be listed on the World Health Organisation (WHO) directory of medical schools. The qualification is one of several assessment criteria that is used to assess whether an applicant meets the requirements for GMC registration. The WHO list does not seek to make direct comparisons with the United Kingdom qualifications framework, rather it establishes that the qualification may be sufficient to meet one of the professional registration requirements for medical practice in the United Kingdom.
The UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) is the only official source of information on vocational, academic and professional qualifications awarded in more than 180 countries worldwide. A national agency managed on behalf of the UK government, it compares overseas qualifications with those in the UK, and provides information on qualifications and education systems outside the UK.