Immigration weekly update: March 05, 2020

Philippines: Special work permit guidelines

New decisions have been announced for initial and renewal Special Work Permit (Consultants or Specialists). Applicants must prove that they are professional advisers in areas such as business, education, law, regulatory, compliance, human resources, marketing, finance, health care or any other specialized fields.

In addition, they must demonstrate the following requirements:

Qualification requirements

  • Educational attainment
  • At least two years’ experience/training related to the proposed position, nature and primary purpose of the company’s business
  • Applicant must be at least 25 years’ old

Documentary requirements

  • Certified True Copy of Diploma or Certificate of Completion
  • Certificate of Training, Course Completion or duly notarized résumé

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Bureau Of Immigration.


The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debbie Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager (APAC).


United Kingdom: New immigration system

On Feb. 19, 2020, the U.K. Government published its policy statement on the U.K.’s new immigration system that will come into effect January 1, 2021. The system will apply to all EU and non-EU citizens wishing to work in the U.K., with the exception of Irish citizens.

Key recommendations from the latest Migration Advisory Committee report have been adopted.

And there will be two main routes for economic migration within the new points-based system:

  1. Sponsored work visa – for those with a job offer
  • An individual must score a minimum of 70 points, which will be awarded as follows:


Characteristics Tradeable Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor No 20
Job at appropriate skill level No 20
Speaks English at required level No 10
Salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039 Yes 0
Salary of £23,040 – £25,599 Yes 10
Salary of £25,600 or above Yes 20
Job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC) Yes 20
Education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job Yes 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Yes 20

Certain characteristics will be tradeable. Therefore, in practice, the new minimum salary will be £20,480 for those with jobs in a shortage occupation or with a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job; £23,040 for those with a PhD in subject relevant to the job; and £25,600 for anyone else.  Please note that migrants will still be paid at the higher end of the specific salary threshold.

  • The cap on the number of people who can stay for work will be suspended (not removed)
  • There is no longer a requirement to carry out resident labor market tests
  • Jobs must be skilled to A level

 Unsponsored work visa 

 No specific scheme has been designed for individuals without a job offer, but the statement outlines that there will be one. We only know that the route will be capped and points for academic qualifications, age and relevant work experience may be considered.

However, there is a Global Talent Visa already in place, that will be extended to EU citizens next year.  The scheme aims to attract leaders and potential leaders, in Science, Digital Technology, and Art Culture. Applicants must obtain endorsement from a government-approved body (the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation, Arts Council England or UK Research and Innovation). There is no cap on the number of the applicants for the scheme.

No provision for low-skilled or temporary work routes.

There is already a Seasonal Worker Scheme under Tier 5 of the current points-based system. This is a pilot scheme and is in place until the end of 2020. It enables non-EEA migrant workers to undertake seasonal employment in the edible horticulture sector.

There is also a promise to streamline application processes considerably, reducing the period of time it takes to bring an overseas worker to the U.K.


 The U.K. Government urges employers to plan and adapt to the new reality through investment in staff retention, productivity, technology and automation in order to address any shortages. It also points out that EU citizens who are already in the U.K., and apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, will be able to stay and work without restrictions (3.2 million EU citizens and their family members have applied so far). There will still be a pool of other workers available such as dependents of skilled migrants or those who come based on youth mobility arrangements the U.K. has with eight non-European countries.

The statement also highlights that the system is expected to be tweaked and improved upon in due course. Further detail will be published shortly.

Looking ahead

U.K. employers are advised to:

  • Analyze the structure of current workforces to understand staffing requirements
  • Analyze the impact of available information on workforces; identify challenges and opportunities, and consider alternatives
  • Identify positions/individuals who are likely to qualify for work permission and those who are not
  • Bring forward any planned assignments to the U.K., so they can commence before Dec. 31, 2020
  • Support existing EU staff and their family members with applications to the EU Settlement Scheme


This summary was prepared using information obtained from


The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager (EMEA).

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