The new Tier 1 - exceptional talent - category for migrants opened on 9 August 2011. This category is limited to 1,000 people initially although the number will be reviewed in April 2012. Four bodies which comprise the Royal Society, the Arts Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Academy will review individual requests to determine whether they fall within the exceptional talent category. The aim is to attract recognised leaders and those with exceptional promise.
The Government is also consulting until September 2011 on rebranding Tier 2, the skilled worker route, as temporary to end the assumption that settlement will automatically be available for Tier 2 migrants after a maximum of 5 years. Instead, most Tier 2 migrants and their dependants will be expected to leave the UK after 5 years. However those earning over £150,000 or in occupations of a specific economic or social value to the UK will retain an automatic route to settlement. Once a person has obtained settlement he or she is entitled to live in the UK permanently without immigration restrictions, to travel freely in and out of the UK and to access state benefits including access to the NHS on the same basis as any other British citizen so this approach is part of the reforms to reduce net immigration into the UK and to tackle abuses of the system.