HSMP or Highly Skilled Migration Programme is a qualification program for those who wanted to enter the UK as a highly skilled worker. This program was replaced by Tier 1 (General) Visa since March of 2008 but the qualifications, point system and the program stays the same. The name may have been changed but the HSMP requirements are still applicable.
There are three requirements to pass HSMP and the new Tier 1. First you need to have the right education, age and income in the country where you are located. The highest point is given on the highest educational attainment which is a PHD. Bachelor and Master's Degree will still earn points but relatively lower. In terms of age, those who are younger than 27 and in legal age will have highest point. In terms of income, the highest score is given to those who are earning more than 40,000 a year. That figure however could change depending on the country of origin of the application.
The second qualification is the English proficiency. And the third prerequisite would be the fund personally owned by the applicant when they enter UK.
To determine the total points and to know if the applicant could pass the requirements, the HSMP calculator could be used. The UK government's website and visa processing companies have online calculators that will help determine if the applicant qualifies. The applicant is required to have at least 75 points in the first category (education, age and income), 10 points for English proficiency and 10 points for available funds.
These requirements are asked for first time workers in UK as well as those seeking extension. When they are availing an extension, the requirement should be that the length of stay as a skilled worker could only be in two years. Eventually, the skilled worker could apply for permanent residence after staying in UK for five years as a skilled worker.