Tier 1 – Highly Skilled
Applicants with desired professional skills
Tier 1 General visa: for highly skilled migrants seeking employment in the UK, self employed immigrants or immigrants setting up a business,
Tier 1 Investor visa: designed for those investing large sums of money in the UK,
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa: ideal for those setting up or taking over the running of businesses,
Tier 1 Post-study visa: if you are studying now or have studied in the past in the UK this route is suitable for you.
Candidates may apply for themselves and will be assessed against a points system based upon a number of criteria. With the Tier 1 visa candidates have an option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residency in the UK is provided.
They required 75 points to qualify for a Tier 1 visa. The new points based system is designed to allow non-EEA nationals who will contribute the most to the economy to immigrate to the UK.
This points based system allows a wider variety of candidates to reach the threshold based upon their performance in different areas;
Age: Qualifications: Previous earnings:
Under 28 years = 20 points MBA = 75 points 40,000 + = 45 points
Aged 28 or 29 years = 10 points PHD = 50 points 35,000-39,999 = 40 points
Aged 30 or 31 = 5 points Masters Degree = 35 points 32,000-34,999 = 35 points
Ages 32 and over = 0 points Bachelors Degree = 30 points 29,000-31,999 = 30 points
26,000-28,999 = 25 points
23,000-25,999 = 20 points
20,000-22,999 = 15 points
18,000-19,999 = 10 points
16,000-17,999 = 5 points
Tier 2 - Work Permit
Skilled workers with an offer of employment
The tier 2 is assessed against a points based system upon a number of criteria. They required 50 points to qualify for a Tier 2 visa as well as a level of proficiency in the English language is required.
Employer must provide a sponsorship certificate detailing the job title and demonstrating that the salary offered is appropriate for such a position and the role is at or above NVQ3.
Tier 3 –Low-skilled
Temporary, low-skilled workers
Tier 3 is for low-skilled workers to come to the UK to do jobs such as fruit picking.
Tier 3 visas are currently suspended because the UK Government believes there are enough workers entering from the EU to do these types of jobs
Tier 4 –Student
Students studying in the UK
The tier 4 focuses upon overseas students who wish to gain entry clearance to study in the UK. Students are divided into three categories when applying for a UK visa at this level;
Students studying in Britain at or above degree level in a publicly funded institution, or engaging in more than 15 hours of study per week. In this category, work is permitted for 20 hours each week rising to full time hours during holiday periods
Students in full time study at an independent school up to the age of 18. Working hours are the same as the general student category.
Study through work:
Students on courses of work experience or work placements. Working hours will be the same as the other two categories.
The educational institution will need to provide a sponsoring certificate to the student which will vouch for the ability of students.
Tier 5 – Working Holiday (Youth Mobility Scheme)
You can stay and work in the UK for up to 24months.
The tier 5 is designed to accommodate two different groups of people immigrating to the UK on a temporary basis – Youth Mobility Scheme and Temporary employment.
Youth Mobility Scheme:
Available to applicants from participating countries aged 18-30 to enter the UK for a maximum period of 24 months. You are scored on a number of points - your nationality, age and whether you will be able to financially fund yourself in the UK.
Creative/Sporting: (12 months Maximum)
For creative artists, sportspeople or entertainers providing that a sponsor has been organized. Sponsors must be able to confirm that applicants pose no threat to the domestic workforce and will engage only in the specified activity.
Voluntary Workers: (12 months Maximum)
Sponsorship from a charity or benevolent organization is required for applicants entering the UK via this route. Sponsors must be able to demonstrate that the activity is directly relevant to the organization and that it will not be permanent.
Religious: (24 months Maximum)
With the exception of ministers of a faith who engage in a preaching and pastoral capacity, religious workers may visit Britain if they are sponsored by the faith community.
Exchange: (12 months Maximum)
Entering the country as part of an accredited exchange, development or knowledge sharing scheme is permitted subject to sponsorship by the organization running the scheme is question.
International Agreement: (12 months Maximum)
In some circumstances, Britain is obliged to allow specific categories of immigrants into the country to work.
Ancestry – British born Grandparents
Allows citizens from Commonwealth countries to work and settle in the UK if they have British-born grandparents.
An ancestry visa lets you enter the UK and work without restrictions. It is usually valid for five years, and can be renewed as many times as you want.
Commonwealth citizens aged 17 or over who have a grandparent born in the UK (or the Republic of Ireland before March 31, 1922), are eligible to apply. You will also need to show evidence that you intend to work in the UK.
You can't apply for an ancestry visa from within the UK, although extensions can be granted through the Home Office.
Be able to prove that you have a grandparent that was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle Of Man.
You must be able to support yourself without access to public funds.
You must apply in your home country, or the country where you are legally resident.