The Home Office have announced that from 06 April 2016, the Points Based Calculator can no longer be used to support immigration applications.
This online calculator was initially introduced to assist Points Based System (Tier 1, 2, 4 and 5) migrants to assess whether they may be eligible to work or study in the UK under the points based system.
One of its most important features was that it indicated whether an overseas qualification met the academic and English language requirements, within the UK Immigration rules.
The Home Office have stated that this change will affect those using an overseas qualification as part of their visa or nationality application. This includes all areas of the points based system, applications for indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation as a British Citizen.
Applicants applying on or after 06 April 2016, who need to evidence that their overseas qualification meets the immigration English language requirement, will now need to obtain, at an additional fee, an official statement from UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre). The applicants will need to contact and pay UK NARIC directly for this statement. UK NARIC is the agency responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on worldwide vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications. Further information is provided on www.naric.org.uk/visasandnationality.
Applicants, who are not nationals of English speaking countries, can also take the appropriate Secure English Language Test to demonstrate the English language requirement of the route for which they are applying. This test also attracts an additional fee.
The Home Office have stated that the reason to introduce this change is to reduce the burden on the UK taxpayer. Over recent years, the Immigration Rules and the way applications are made, has evolved significantly. As a direct consequence of this, Home Office have taken the view that the calculator is no longer cost-effective to manage or maintain.