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Q: UK Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) Visa Qualification Question ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: UK Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) Visa Qualification Question
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: gaaant-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 14 Nov 2006 23:47 PST
Expires: 14 Dec 2006 23:47 PST
Question ID: 782873
The UK Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) visa requirements have
changed recently, essentially meaning you have to have a degree or
higher to be considered. In the guidance notes for the HSMP visa it
states that you can have a professional qualification as long as you
have a letter from the 'appropriate UK professional body' stating that
your qualification is the equivalent of a Degree/Masters/PHD etc.

My question is this: I wanted to apply for this visa and the new rules
cause problems for me as I don't have a degree, I do however have an
MSCA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator), since this is an
industry qualification could it be counted as a degree substitute? And
who is the  'appropriate UK professional body' to certify this?

Thanks in advance...
Subject: Re: UK Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) Visa Qualification Question
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 15 Nov 2006 08:23 PST
Hello gaaant,

I agree with you that the MCSE IS an industry recognized
qualification, but it does not seem to be seen in the eyes of the HSMP
program as the equivalent of a degree. You
state you have the MCSA, so if you want to try and push this qualification
closer to the degree level I would seriously advise you upgrade to the MCSE by
taking your final 2/3 exams.

Is it an MCSA in Windows 2000 or 2003? A 2000 MCSA may no longer count.

After looking into it, an MCSE or an MCSA does NOT qualify as a degree
substitute. The appropriate UK professional body that you will need to
consult on this matter is the British Computer Society. They are the
UK's industry body
for the IT sector.

British Computer Society

This organization's contact details are as follows:

Customer Service Team
Tel (UK): 0845 300 4417
Tel (Overseas): +44 (0)1793 417424

To look at becoming a fully qualified member of the BCS check out this


and fill in the details. I would contact the customer services team
before the application so they can answer all of the questions you will
have with regards to the application of citizenship.

I hope this helps you, and if you need more information don't hesitate
to contact me.


Clarification of Answer by keystroke-ga on 15 Nov 2006 08:38 PST
Search strategy:

Personal knowledge of the MCSE


Clarification of Answer by keystroke-ga on 15 Nov 2006 08:51 PST
Hello gaaant,

Allow me to clarify my answer a bit further.  Looking back over it, it
is a bit unclear what I actually meant.

By "does not qualify as a degree substitute" I mean directly 1 for 1.

You can't say, when asked if you have a degree, "almost, I have an
MCSE"; your answer would have to be NO, you don't have a degree.

The only computing exams that the UK recognises as academic are these

BCS-- Exams

They are exams provided by the BCS.

MCSE and other vendor exams are industry qualifications, NOT academic

The only degree equivalent qualification that is IT-based is this one


which is the level 6 course and is quite hard.

I would speak to the BCS, ask how they view the strength of the MCSA
you have and if it would qualify you for the immigration program. I
would seriously advise you upgrade to the MCSE as this is a stronger
qualification in the eyes of everyone in IT and would be a stronger
candidate for degree qualification under the immigrant program.  You
could certainly ask the BCS about that as well.

In addition, when I said that "it does not seem to be seen in the eyes
of the HSMP program as the equivalent of a degree", I did not mean to
rule out the possibility entirely and I'm sorry that that's a bit
misleading. What I meant to say was what I outlined above-- it is not
an academic degree and would not be seen as so, but it is a highly
respected qualification and the British Computer Society will
certainly be able to inform you whether it would help you qualify as
far as immigration goes.

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